Costs for external support and expertise in delivering employment equality: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

For the period covered by the last 5 full financial years, can you please provide the names of the organisations government has paid [including Stonewall where applicable in paying the fees involved to enter their Workplace Equality Index] to provide advice, insight and expertise in making sure that the government’s workplace policies, practices and cultures are more accessible to people who represent the lived experience of the protected characteristics listed in the following table.

As well as the names of the organisations, I would ask for information on:

  • how much they were paid to provide the services, including such as fees to be part of such as the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
  • to what extent policies and practices were amended/changed or new ones introduced to eliminate discrimination as a result of the expertise provided [approximate number],
  • whether government paid for leadership training for employees from the protected characteristics listed as part of the organisational equality culture and practice change programme recommended by the expert organisation
  • whether the government has carried out a formal assessment of the effectiveness [increases achieved in number of employees who are under-represented people with protected characteristics in the workforce] and value for money of paying organisations to provide these services.


The answers to your queries are below:

1) Table 1 Below provided by the requester.

Table 1. Protected characteristic

Name of organisations who represent the lived experience of the protected characteristics paid by the government to provide advice, insight and expertise in making sure that the government’s workplace policies, practices and cultures are more accessible to people sharing that protected characteristic


Note : in answering this question, please provide the name of the organisation and the web site address. Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion - The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) ) provide advice, insight and expertise related to all protected characteristics*




Business Disability Forum (Business Disability Forum), Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living - GCIL), We Are Purple (Changing the Conversation ( )


Radiant and Brighter (Radiant and Brighter – Be the best you can!)

Religion or belief




Sexual orientation

 Stonewall (Stonewall Scotland) ,  Equality Network (Home - Equality Network (

Gender reassignment

Stonewall, Equality Network

2) Our records show the following payments to the above listed organisations across the years requested.

2018 - 2019
Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion - £8,390
Business Disability Forum - £5,220
Stonewall Scotland - £2,400

2019 – 2020
Business Disability Forum - £6,600
Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion – £3,480
Stonewall Scotland - £7,200

2020 – 2021
Stonewall Scotland - £480
Business Disability Forum - £4,104
Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion – £6,180

2021 – 2022
Stonewall Scotland - £9,144
Business Disability Forum – £4,104
Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion - £38,640
We Are Purple - £4,638
Radiant & Brighter - £120
Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living - £5,760

Equality Network - £550
Radiant & Brighter - £240
ENEI - £6,180
Stonewall Scotland - £4,890

3) The table provided cannot be completed per the requesters instructions. A wide range of factors go into consideration when developing, amending or changing policies, practices and procedures. We know that the expertise, insight and advice of external organisations impacts our decision making
indirectly through our staff and the learning they gather from our external partners. However this cannot be quantified in the manner as outlined above. Despite this, there are also examples of external expertise directly featuring in our decision making with representatives of external organisations included in the Scottish Government’s Diversity and Inclusion Governance Group.

The Diversity and Inclusion Governance Group is a key internal point of accountability for employer diversity and inclusion efforts. The group has been central in governing the delivery of our Recruitment and Retention Action plans for Race( Race recruitment and retention - an instigation for change: action plan - ( and Disability (4. The Plan: Outcomes and actions in detail - Recruitment and retention plan for disabled people: 2019 - ( and includes representatives from Executive Team, Unions and Diversity Staff Networks. External representatives from organisations providing lived experience are invited to the quarterly meetings of the group to provide advice, expertise and challenge.

4) Table 4 above cannot be completed per the requesters instructions as leadership training is not specifically purchased for people with protected characteristics. However, Scottish Government has taken action in the area of leadership development through running programmes like the Mutual Mentoring Programme and the Developing Diverse Leaders Programme.

Mutual Mentoring Programme
The programme supports senior leaders at C Band and above and colleagues with selected protected characteristics (minority ethnic colleagues, disabled colleagues, LGBTI+ colleagues and colleagues who identify as coming from a low socio-economic background) at any grade to share their lived experience for mutual benefit. Colleagues from those protected characteristics gain unique access to career and leadership development insights, supporting their pathway to senior leadership whilst enabling them to proactively use their voice to shape inclusive leadership culture. Senior leaders gain insight to build their knowledge and capacity to be more inclusive leaders, supporting them to role model behaviours and take action to remove barriers and build allyship based on real life experiences of colleagues. The organisation benefits from individuals sharing their lived experience to improve retention rates and support progression of diverse talent. Scottish Ministers and people living in Scotland benefit from the best, most inclusive policy making decision making and public service delivery by harnessing the value of our diverse talent. The program was launched initially to members of our Race Equality Network in Scottish Government before being expanded to include disabled staff members and has been extended iteratively to include LGBT and Socio-Economic Background. The most recent programme featured 179 partnerships.

Developing Diverse Leaders
Based on data analysis, the Scottish Government Talent Board agreed that particular focus should be given to the progress and potential of minority ethnic and disabled colleagues at B3/C1 level. This was then replicated for talented Deputy Directors from groups under-represented at Director level
(Female, Disabled, Ethnic Minority, LGBT+, and Lower Socio-Economic Background). 73 colleagues are currently on the Developing Diverse Leaders programmes. For the B3/C1 programme this includes a core programme of events to support career development, development planning and regular
meetings with the programme sponsors. In addition, there are tailored elements of bespoke sessions reflecting individual development needs and aspirations. The Deputy Director programme features oneto- one meetings with the Permanent Secretary, attendance at Cabinet and Executive Team meetings and input from Edinburgh University Business School on how to become a non-executive director.

There are also tailored elements and the offer of support for participation in formal leadership programmes (e.g Forward Institute Exchange). Staff are also supported on the META and DELTA schemes offered as part of the UK Civil Service Future Leader Schemes. These are targeted interventions within the Future Leaders Schemes for high potential C Band staff who identify as minority ethnic (META) or as having a disability or long term health condition (DELTA). Diversity and inclusion of the Scottish Government workforce - 2022 (

Further information can be found within our Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2023 which you can access here: Supporting documents - Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report 2023 - (

5) The above table cannot be completed per the requesters instructions. I would refer the requester to our publication on workforce statistics and in particular the sections regarding promotion and TRS. Diversity and inclusion of the Scottish Government workforce - 2022 (

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain the information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy

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