Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment: report

This report summarises the outcomes of the Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment that was held by the Scottish Government in March 2021.

11. Appendices

11.1 Summit Agenda



Paul to welcome delegates

Paul Johnston (host), DG Communities, Scottish Government



Cabinet Secretary to introduce event and provide opening remarks

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People


Plenary one

Presentation outlining institutional racism, the impetus to take action and the importance of collective responsibility.

Madhu Malhotra, Director for Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights, Scottish Government


Introduction to breakout session

Before moving into breakout groups, a CRER representative will explain purpose of the session.

Carol Young, CRER


Breakout session – understanding institutional racism: existing challenges and solutions

Session will include:

  • concept of institutional racism – why are people reluctant to discuss it? how is it understood and what can it mean in practice?
  • how do we work out what the solutions are - what do we need to know and what can we ask the panel?



Panel Q&A

Opportunity for panellists to answer questions coming out of the breakout discussions.

Minister (to chair)


Plenary two

Presentation from a public sector organisation on the challenges and progress within their organisation.

David Wallace, CEO Social Security Scotland


Joint commitment

Reinforcing the importance of undertaking the actions outlined in the joint commitment, which includes addressing the recommendations of the Committee

Paul Johnston (host), DG Communities, Scottish Government


Closing remarks

Thanks and close from the Minister.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

11.2 Attendees

Name - Designation

Pauline Stephen - CEO General Teaching Council for Scotland

Lynn Killick - Senior Policy Analysis, SFC

Fiona Robson - Assistant Director for Access and Outcomes, SFC

Maureen McKenna - Executive Director of Education, Glasgow City Council

Lesley Whelan - Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland

Selma Augestad - National Officer – Equalities, EIS

Fiona Robertson - CEO, Scottish Qualifications Authority

Bonnie Dean - Vice Principal, Corporate Engagement & Innovation, University of Glasgow

Karyn McCluskey - CEO Community Justice Scotland

Theresa Medhurst - CEO Scottish Prison Service

Eric McQueen - CEO Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Darren Paterson - Head of HR Governance, Scottish Police Authority

Laic Khalique - Director for Digital Technology, NHS Tayside

Pauline Howie - CEO Scottish Ambulance Service

Andrew Carter - Director of Workforce, NHS Borders

Neena Mahal - Chair NHS Lanarkshire

Nick Morris - Chair NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Adam Coldwells - NHSS Board Deputy CEO, NHS Grampian

Heather Knox - NHSS Board CEO, NHS Lanarkshire

Nicola Gordon - Policy Manager, NHSS Board, NHS

David Wallace - CEO Social Security Scotland

Jennifer Henderson - Keeper, Registers of Scotland

Mairi Gibson - Head of Legal Services, Revenue Scotland

Carolyn Anderson - CEO Skills Development Scotland

Deepa Mann-kler - NED, Registers of Scotland

Jane Morrison-Ross - CEO South of Scotland Enterprise

Charlotte Wright - CEO Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Iain Munro - CEO Creative Scotland

Tracy McIntyre - DD Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, SG

Katy Miller - Head of HR, Edinburgh City Council

Gail Bhatti - Employment, Development and Diversity, South Lanarkshire Council

Karen Barclay - Corporate Policy, Inverclyde Council

Laura McIntyre - Head of Policy and Commissioning for Renfrewshire Council

Steven McNab - Head of OD, Inverclyde Council

Cher Colquhoun - HR Adviser, West Dunbartonshire Council

Simon Cameron - Chief Officer Employers Team, COSLA

11.3 Biographies

Scottish Government Ministers

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

Jamie was educated at Hyndland Secondary and the University of Glasgow, graduating with a degree in Politics and History.

He served as National Convener of the SNP's student and youth wings, was MSP for Central Scotland between 2007 and 2011 and has been MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth since 2011. He was appointed Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health in November 2014. Jamie Hepburn was appointed Minister for Employability and Training in May 2016

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People

Educated at Kirkcaldy High School, she then graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics (1996), followed by a Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling and a Diploma in Public Relations from Queen Margaret University College.

She has worked as a parliamentary researcher, a Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, and as a Media and Campaigns Officer at the Royal College of Nursing.

Shirley-Anne was previously an MSP for the Lothians region from 2007 to 2011, and returned to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 as MSP for Dunfermline. Shirley-Anne Somerville was appointed Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science in May 2016.

Event Host

Paul Johnston, DG Communities, Scottish Government

Paul is Director General for Communities in the Scottish Government. He supports Ministers in their work on social security, social justice, housing, equality, inclusion and human rights. He leads on the relationship with local government and the reform and improvement of public services across Scotland. His focus is on ensuring that public services throughout Scotland are aligned around the purpose and outcomes in Scotland’s National Performance Framework. Paul is Senior Ally for race, religion and belief in the Scottish Government, and is working on approaches to recruitment, promotion and the creation of a working environment where everyone can be themselves and flourish. Paul joined the Scottish Government from private legal practice in 2000. Since then, he has undertaken a variety of legal and policy roles, including a secondment to the UK Government. He was Director General for Education, Communities and Justice between 2017 and 2021.


David Wallace, Chief Executive Social Security Scotland

David has extensive experience in leading the delivery of public services in Scotland. He has held service delivery leadership roles as Chief Executive of Disclosure Scotland, Chief Executive of Student Awards Agency Scotland and Deputy Chief Executive of Accountant in Bankruptcy. These roles follow a long career in the Scottish Government in various policy posts, including a delivery role with the then Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

David is responsible for the set-up of Scotland’s most significant new public service since devolution. He is accountable to the Scottish Government, Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament for the activity of Social Security Scotland. He leads the Executive Team who support him in his responsibilities.

Madhu Malhotra, Director, Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights, Scottish Government

The First Minister announced in 2020 that the Scottish Government would create an Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights directorate following recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

Madhu Malhotra was appointed its inaugural director in mid-December, bringing over 25 years' experience advocating for equality, inclusion and social justice, working in global grassroots organisations, international non-governmental organisations and the United Nations.

Madhu will work with colleagues and Ministers to ensure equalities, inclusion and human rights are at the centre of everything we do and to support the Scottish Government to achieve key outcomes in the National Performance Framework. Madhu will also join the Scottish Government's Executive Team.


Padam Singh

Padam is of Indian heritage, born and raised in Glasgow in a bicultural environment. He has worked in the public and voluntary sector for over 27 years, mostly in employability related roles. He was one of the first employment advisers in Glasgow, based at a local Jobcentre, and is responsible for pioneering many of today’s engagement policies. His previous employers and roles include, a senior Equalities & Diversity Officer for Scottish Enterprise, Careers Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). He currently manages a Mental Health counselling programme for the Reach Community Health Project and is the currently the chair of the Black & Minority Ethnic Employability Strategic Steering Group (BME:ESSG) which is quoted in the Scottish Government’s Race Equality plan. He is an active advocate for more equality, diversity and inclusion in the labour market and firmly believes Scotland’s strength lies in its rich diverse communities

Talat Yaqoob

Talat was previously the Director of Equate Scotland and is the chair and co-founder of the campaign group Women 50:50. She has been working in the third sector and campaigning for over 12 years and has a background in public affairs, campaign development and training. She has worked on a number of issues including women's political participation, equality in further and higher education, race equality and Muslim women's representation.

Murid Laly

Murid Laly manages Intercultural Youth Scotland's Restless Natives employability program. The program works 1-2-1 with young people from racialised groups to ensure they have equitable support to realise their potential. They also host anti-racism workshops and support organisations across Scotland and have been working closely with DYW and policymakers to promote anti-racist practice in governance and decision-making. They are an effective facilitator and strong public speaker

Ima Jackson

Dr Ima Jackson is an academic who works with people from communities who are racialised. Her work is based on social justice principles. The Academy is used to support Black people, People of Colour and others who are racialised as ethnic minority people in Scotland to evidence for those that make decisions about them, their experiences of systemic inequalities created by racism in policy and service provision, which includes within the research process.

Over the last 20 years as unprecedented migration has changed Scotland’s demography the need for this way of working to address systemic inequalities has intensified. Ima works in a pragmatic way across health, education, the cultural sector and skills and employability. Her work informs policy and service provision both nationally and internationally and she currently leads several national infrastructure projects. She works regularly across portfolios with Scottish Government Ministers, their civil servants and policy makers who often are not used to engaging with the racialised communities they serve.

Helen Martin

Helen Martin is the head of the Fair Work Convention Secretariat. The Fair Work Convention is independent of Government and brings together unions, employers and academic expertise, with a remit to advise ministers on fair work and to advocate and promote fair work in Scotland. Prior to taking up this role, Helen was Deputy General Secretary at the Scottish Trades Union Congress, and her responsibilities included policy development, parliamentary relations and supporting the STUC’s equality structures. Before joining the STUC in 2010, Helen worked as a policy officer in the Equality and Human Rights Commission and her background is in race relations having started her career at the Commission for Racial Equality.

John Wilkes

John has been Head of Scotland for the Equality and Human Rights Commission since April 2017. He also served as Scotland Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission between 2001 and 2007.

He has a strong commitment to equality and human rights with long experience in the voluntary, statutory and private sectors in Scotland and the UK. He has been an active campaigner on LGBT, gender and race issues for over twenty years.

John has previous experience of paid and unpaid roles in the voluntary sector. Prior to the EHRC he worked as chief executive of Scottish Refugee Council between 2008 and 2017 and other roles as chief executive of a Scottish HIV and AIDS organisation and Scotland Director of Carers UK.

Graduating in 1981 with a degree in chemistry John worked in engineering and marketing in the electronics and chemicals industries for over twelve years.

John has extensive experience of governance and serving on boards. He served as a member of the Communities Fund (now the Big Lottery) Scotland committee and was a member of the board of Stonewall, the UK’s leading gay and lesbian advocacy and campaigning organisation. Other roles included two years as a trustee of Citizens Advice Scotland, chair of the White Ribbon Scotland campaign, Chair of the Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, member of the ACOSVO (Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations) board and a trustee of the University of Strathclyde Students Union.

11.4 Summary of CEO responses

The Scottish Government commissioned CRER to undertake a high level analysis of the responses[5] from public authorities to the letter from the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills of 5 February 2021.

The letter requested further information from public authorities on their plans to address the Committee’s recommendations. Below is a summary of responses.

83 responses were looked at - 22 from local authorities, 28 from educational institutions and 33 from other public bodies.

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills’ letter of 5 February referenced the Committee’ inquiry. This made a number of recommendations for public bodies in Scotland, and the Minister's letter asked specifically about four of them:

a) Those in public authority leadership positions undertake an assessment of their organisation's understanding of racism and the structural barriers that may exist within their organisations. Public authorities should integrate their ambitions into their next strategic plan. Their strategic goal should be underpinned by specific outcomes and supported by timely monitoring. Public authorities should be transparent about their targets and their progress in delivering their outcomes.

b) Public authorities should review their recruitment procedures and practice against the Scottish Government's (recruitment) toolkit and make the necessary changes.

c) All public bodies subject to the PSED Specific Duties should, as a minimum, voluntarily record and publish their ethnicity pay gap and produce an action plan to deliver identified outcomes.

d) Each public authority to (commit to) a minimum of three new actions to address their organisations' specific issues along with associated timescales and reasons for those timescales.

The Minister's letter also welcomed initial thoughts, details of action plans and of challenges that organisations' foresee in committing to and taking forward the recommendations.

A very high level overview of the responses provided for each of the five issues raised above is as follows:

a) Understanding of Racism

Many responses mentioned that their next Strategic Plan, People Strategy (or similar documents) would cover some of these issues. There was mention of policies already in place or being developed/updated, as well as mention of training in place or planned, especially unconscious bias training.

Many organisations mentioned that the issues would be covered in the Equality Outcomes they were about to publish as required under PSED. A number said that race would feature explicitly in one or more of their equality outcomes, which is to be welcomed, and whilst properly developed outcomes would have milestones and outcomes, there was less mention of these - indeed, the word 'target' only features in 10 of the responses, and the word 'milestone' in only 2. Most responses did not go into detail on what specifically would be covered in their Equality Outcomesso we will need to wait till these are published to see how they are phrased and what they are specifically looking to address.

A number also mentioned either existing or planned networks for BME staff, staff surveys and other planned research, and also of signing up to the Advance HE / B in the Community Race Charters and also the anti-racism declaration that was recently issued by FE/HE institutions in Scotland.

However, there was not any real feel from the responses that these were getting to the heart of a better understandingof racism , especially institutional racism. It might be difficult to convey such understanding in a response to a letter, and whilst there was a great focus on the provision of training (especially unconscious bias training) getting to the real issue raised in this question seemed missing. Policies are great, but in the main these have been in place for some time now but real change has not been seen. It is likely that this lack of understanding has resulted in a lack of any real action on outcomes, and this would explain the lack of mention of setting targets, having SMART actions, etc. (or to put in another way, a lack of understanding results in an attitude that change is not really required so we go with small tweaks to policies, etc., but not demand any disruption to the status quo.

b) Scottish Government's Recruitment Toolkit:

Responses regarding the Toolkit were almost universally positive, with most organisations saying that either they are already implementing much of what is recommended in the toolkit or will look at doing so in the near future. One or two organisations said they were already going beyond what was recommended in the toolkit. However, information on practical usage was not generally provided; for example, there were only a few responses that mentioned positive action measures that were being used / considered. The issue of staff ethnicity data was frequently mentioned, with a number of organisations committing to undertake further work to improve disclosure rates.

Generally a positive response, at the surface anyway. However, like many of the responses to the question above as well, many of the responses talked about implementing processes rather than achieving outcomes. This is what needs to change if we are to achieve race equality in employment.

c) Voluntarily record and publish their ethnicity pay gap and produce an action plan

There were many responses that said this was already being done by their organisation, which is to be welcomed. Others called for additional guidance form the Scottish Government, largely to help them deal with issues of disclosure especially when small numbers of staff were involved or where the percentage of BME staff was very low. Some responses, particularly in the education sector, reported positive pay gaps for BME staff, with some accounting for this due to occupational segregation factors. Mentions of action plans to deal with pay gap issues were hard to find.

Further thought does need to be given to reporting on ethnicity pay gaps where the numbers or percentages of BME staff are so low so SG guidance would be useful. There may have been some confusion with the PSED requirement to publish statements on ethnicity / equal pay and occupational segregation and information on ethnicity pay gaps. As some respondents said though, the prime focus just now probably needs to be on increasing the employment levels of BME people in the public sector in Scotland more than looking at pay gaps.

d) A minimum of three new actions to address their organisations' specific issues

Only around a third of responses talked about their three new actions, with many linking these to the imminent publication of their new equality outcomes, or reviewing their processes against the recruitment toolkit or looking at publishing their ethnicity pay gaps. Few of these gave more detail on their planned activity, with information on targets, milestones, timescales, etc. not generally provided.

This is a difficult issue to report on without the respondents having wider discussions within their organisations, etc. It is not surprising that many were already involved in similar discussions regarding their about to be published equality outcomes, and as stated above, a number seem to be pushing for race specific outcomes which (although already recognised as good practice) may still be useful. However, analysis of previous outcomes have shown many to be process driven rather than outcome driven so it will be important to see if the 2021 Equality Outcomes better reflect the EHRC guidance on what EOs are for - i.e. changes organisations wish to see made to the lives of people with protected characteristics.

e) Challenges

The Minister's letter specifically asked organisations to outline challenges that organisations' foresee in committing to and taking forward the EHRiC recommendations. However, only a handful of responses talked about challenges. These included issues such as keeping anti-racism high on the agenda, data challenges, and also issues relating to resources - both financial and staff time.

Again, it may be difficult to articulate these issues in a response letter, but a lack of reflection on challenges may reflect a general lack of understanding of institutional racism, etc.

The responses confirm that it was correct to focus the Summit on Institutional Racism, but it will require far more input than is possible in a two-hour event to get the CEOs of public bodies in Scotland to gain the better understanding that they require to properly fulfil their leadership roles.



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