7. Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion is inherent in all that we do in FLS. We want to continue to develop an environment that is accessible, open and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and communities across Scotland and beyond – as a place to work, to visit and to participate. We will continue to integrate diversity and inclusion into everything that we do by identifying and removing barriers, enabling us to build a more inclusive organisation, services and facilities.
We are taking steps to develop a more diverse workforce in order to better reflect the communities we serve and to gain the benefits that diversity can bring, such as increased innovation, creativity, efficiency and effectiveness. Recent activity in this area has included making improvements to our recruitment system and processes, and using positive action statements and gender neutral language in job adverts. We actively seek to work with partners including Equate Scotland and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) to develop the profile of our workforce.
We have also signed up to Working Family Friendly Scotland’s ‘Happy to Talk Flexible’ campaign and use their logo on all job adverts to promote our commitment to striking a better work-life balance for all our colleagues.
We have already noticed some changes, with an increase in the number of women working for the organisation (33.4 % in 2021 compared with 31.1% in 2019) and we’ve increased the opportunities to grow our young workforce by doubling the number of Foundation and Modern Apprenticeship placements across FLS in the last 12 months.
We are also working hard to improve the accessibility of the forests and land that we manage by working with partners such as Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website.
We regularly publish information on our Gender Pay Gap and moving forward, we will also be reporting on our ethnicity pay gap in line with anticipated forthcoming legal requirements. As an executive agency, we are also required to meet the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
We aspire to not only meet, but exceed our legal obligations. More information on our requirements and approach to mainstreaming diversity and inclusion can be found in our equality publications on the FLS website.