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.

9. Supportive Resources and Tools

9.1 Introduction

9.1.1 The following are tools to support organisations and senior leaders in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace:

Scottish Government Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit

9.1.2 This toolkit is for recruitment managers in the public sector looking to improve the diversity of their workforce by recruiting more people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This toolkit includes a range of suggestions and ideas for organisations who will appreciate some initial guidance. It is not intended to be prescriptive and some of the guidance will depend on the specific context in which organisations are working. While a lot of the content has been drawn from practice that is used in parts of the public sector, the information in this toolkit may be equally useful to employers in other sectors. Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit (

Scottish Government Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan

9.1.3 Our Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan details the action we will take to deliver our vision to be a world-leading diverse employer where racial equality is achieved. The Plan’s anti-racist approach covers five priorities to redistribute power and foster cultural change. We hope that this will prove a helpful reference point when considering action within your organisation. Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan

CIPD Anti-racism Hub

9.1.4 As a means of addressing the barriers to change, CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has set out its anti-racism policy, supported by a new anti-racism hub, which includes a host of webinars, FAQs and practical guides. Tackling racism in the workplace | CIPD

Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Charter

9.1.5 Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race at Work Charter is composed of five calls to action for leaders and organisations across all sectors. Signing up means organisations taking practical steps to ensure workplaces are tackling barriers ethnic minority people face in recruitment and progression. In doing so they can help ensure their organisations are representative of British society. Race at Work Charter Archives - Business in the Community (

BITC Race at Work Survey

9.1.6 Race at Work 2021 is a large-scale survey delivered in collaboration with YouGov examining the experiences of employees in the workplace across every demographic group within the UK census. It aims to gather new and fresh insights into the experiences of ethnically diverse people in the UK workforce, with a focus on capturing ethnicity data, progression and effective allyship. People of all ethnicities aged 16+ who is currently employed, furloughed or self-employed in the UK are asked to take part. All responses are anonymous, and data is kept confidential. Early findings are due to be published later in 2021.

BITC – Toolkit – Mental Health and Wellbeing for Ethnically Diverse Women

9.1.7 A self-care toolkit, this guide aims to contribute towards the growing effort to educate and support managers with practical techniques to build authentic relationships and foster a deeper appreciation of the unique mental health challenges that may be faced by the minority ethnic employees in their teams.


Equality and Human Rights Commission: Unconscious Bias Training – An Assessment of the Evidence of Effectiveness

9.1.8 This report looks at the effectiveness of unconscious bias training. It makes recommendations for employers, policymakers and HR professionals to use the training effectively in the workplace to create more inclusive workplaces. research-report-113-unconcious-bais-training-an-assessment-of-the-evidence-for-effectiveness-pdf.pdf (

Fair Work Framework

9.1.9 Fair Work will become a hallmark of Scotland’s workplaces and economy. The Scottish Government’s vision is that by 2025, people in Scotland will have a world-leading working life. Driving success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society, will contribute to a strong Scottish economy and inclusive growth.

9.1.10 The Fair Work Convention was established in 2015 to provide independent advice to Scottish Ministers. Its remit is to drive forward fair work in Scotland, which supports the broader, fundamental principles of good work, and it developed a Fair Work Framework to support this.

9.1.11 The Fair Work Framework sets out what fair work means in Scotland. The framework is comprised of five dimensions:

  • effective voice – having a say at work and being listened to can improve the experience of work as well as improve organisational performance
  • security – security of employment, work and income are important foundations of a successful life for all
  • opportunity – Fair opportunity is more than the chance to access work. It includes having the right attitudes, behaviours, policies and procedures within organisations. The outcomes these produce reflect the value placed on fair opportunity
  • respect – Fair work is work in which people are respected and treated respectfully, whatever their role and status. Respect at work is a two-way process between employers and workers
  • fulfilment – Workers who are fulfilled in their jobs are more likely to be engaged, committed and healthy.
  • The Scottish Government has outlined awards and resources that can support businesses to demonstrate a commitment to fair work. These are

9.1.12 The framework can be found here: Fair-Work-Convention-Framework-PDF-Full-Version.pdf

Fair Work Action Plan

9.1.13 The Action Plan outlines a range of measures to support employers to embed fairer working practices, including promoting diverse and inclusive workplaces. have been set out in the Scottish Government's new Fair Work Action Plan. Fair Work Action Plan.

Fair Work First Guidance

9.1.14 This guidance outlines the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First approach and exemplifies the Fair Work First criteria in practice. It should be used by those involved in awarding public sector grants, sponsorship and other funding, and contracts, and those seeking to access/accessing such funding and/or contracts. Fair Work First Guidance

9.1.15 Employers are also encouraged to use the Fair Work Employer Support Tool to understand their fair work practices and access support to enable them to strengthen their approach. Similarly, employers should encourage their employees to use the Fair Work Convention's Employee Self-Assessment Tool to assess their own experience of Fair Work and be willing to engage with workers and unions in responding to the findings of these assessment tools.

Skills Development Scotland: “Guide to Engaging with BME Communities”

9.1.16 This resource guide has been developed to help Skills Development Scotland training provider partners attract applicants from minority ethnic communities and identify the support available to enable entry and progression on Scottish Apprenticeships. guide-to-engaging-with-bme-communities-2020-21-version.pdf (

Ethnicity and Diversity in the Scottish Workforce

9.1.17 Radiant and Brighter’s report seeks to understand ethnic diversity in the Scottish workplace, to understand what the barriers to true diversity are, as well as the impacts of any non-diverse workforces on Scotland’s prospective and actual employees. It outlines the level of challenge that exists for minority ethnic workers across workplaces in Scotland and includes helpful case studies for employers to refer to. Diversity_10March_2-3-2.pdf (

Close your Pay Gap Tool

9.1.18 This resource helps employers take steps to reduce the Gender Pay Gap. It also has a guidance section with topics such as flexible and part-time working, and recruitment and promotion. Close your Pay Gap Tool

Close the Gap - Research into black and minority ethnic women’s experience of employment in Scotland

9.1.19 This research provides a range of lived in experiences to inform employer practice. A summary of their research findings can be found on page 3, section 2). Close the Gap’s research into Black and minority ethnic women’s experience of employment in Scotland

Scottish Mentoring Network

9.1.20 For any organisations considering developing mentoring schemes the Scottish Mentoring Network can provide support and advice.

9.2 Other Useful Links

9.2.1 Below are several organisations who represent minority ethnic communities and whose websites contain helpful guidance and research for employers to refer to.


9.2.2 AFBE-UK Scotland is the Scottish arm of AFBE-UK, a registered not-for profit organisation that encourages minority ethnic people to study engineering; supports those who aspire to be successful engineers; promotes engineering in schools and universities; and promotes diversity in the workforce.

9.2.3 AFBE-UK also advises organisations on how to promote diversity in industry and creates healthy, inclusive, and sustainable environments where all communities can thrive. Some of AFBE-UK’s partners include Leonardo, Mercedes F1, EasyJet, Subsea 7, the Royal Air Force, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Aberdeen. Their website has numerous useful resources and case studies for employers to refer to. AFBE-UK Scotland | Inspiring people of BME origin (

Glasgow Disability Alliance

9.2.4 Glasgow Disability Alliance is a Disabled Persons’ Organisation (DPO) that can aid employers who are seeking to develop best practice in regard to workforce diversity and who are looking to better recruit and support disabled people, including minority ethnic disabled people. They can help discuss opportunities for engagement with their members including their minority ethnic network. Glasgow Disability Alliance and other DPOs have developed training sessions and materials for employers that can be delivered to HR and Recruitment Managers. Further resources can be found here.

Inclusion Scotland and Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living

9.2.5 Inclusion Scotland and Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living have considerable experience of delivering training and support to employers around issues experienced by disabled people. Inclusion Scotland have produced several resources available on their website.

Radiant and Brighter

9.2.6 Radiant and Brighter offer programs and services aimed at employers in Scotland, with a focus on Equality.


9.2.7 SEMLA the Scottish Ethnic Minority Lawyers Association is an organisation that public bodies may seek support from. This organisation is focused on the legal sector and aims to provide support and create career opportunities for ethnic minority lawyers and law students in Scotland.

Sikh Sanjog

9.2.8 Sikh Sanjog can provide specialist advice, insight and education and consultancy services to the public, private and third sectors in order to build knowledge of the Sikh culture within Scottish society. As part of their service, they also communicate useful, practical information about cultural diversity in a wider sense that is relevant to each organisations. They can adapt their range of services to meet organisations’ needs, mixing and matching different components. Our Services – for stakeholders and organisations | Sikh Sanjog


9.2.9 CEMVO Scotland is a national intermediary organisation and strategic partner of the Scottish Government Equality Unit. It provides a range of resources and offers free support to organisations who wish to engage with minority ethnic communities. It delivers tailored support and works strategically with public, statutory, and government agencies to tackle a range of prevalent issues such as race equality, social inclusion, capacity building and civic participation.

9.3 Resources in Development

Positive Action Guidance

9.3.1 Building on the Toolkit we published in September, we will commission work to develop and publish a guide on positive action that public authorities can take including case studies and other material to help public authorities shape their actions to make a real impact. We will ensure that it covers the breadth of the employability pipeline from recruitment to retention to progression. This work will be taken forward by a CRER and we expect documentation to be produced by the end of this calendar year.

9.3.2 As part of Scottish Government’s own staff race recruitment and retention plan, a positive action policy will be developed which will set out initiatives that will be taken, the underpinning evidence base and the approach to be taken to measure impact. We will also launch an online Diversity and Inclusion curriculum in the new year comprising of internal and external learning solutions such as webinars, podcasts, articles and videos.

Training Framework

9.3.3 As part of a longer-term endeavour, we will commission a new training framework and the first step will be to carry out a survey to understand the current training landscape, and what is currently available for the workplace context. This will be followed by a review of the training programmes to understand the gaps and levels of depth and complexity each programme delivers as well as their impact. This will shape comprehensive guidance on optimum practice in race equality training.

9.3.4 In commissioning this work, we will take a collaborative approach to its development to involve minority ethnic groups and equality groups. This will help identify key areas of training ensuring it covers the competences required to deal with the issues such as those that have been highlighted in the Committee’s inquiry. This work will provide us with a training framework that sets the standard which can be used by public authorities to help them understand the training that is available and to assess their own training needs against. Application, impact and continuous training and development will be set as key principles of this framework.

9.4 Examples of Race Employment Work across the Public Sector

9.4.1 Below is an indication of some of the race employment work that public authorities have shared. It is meant to be a helpful way for employers to see the approaches taken across the sector, and the impact of these approaches where available. We appreciate that much of this work is in train and has not yet been evaluated. We therefore look forward to hearing more about the progress of this work at the post-summit engagement sessions and national conference.

9.4.2 The work has been sectioned into stages of the employee lifecycle. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but a helpful indication of measures employers could implement and evaluate.


  • Raising awareness of job opportunities – for example running jobs fairs and workshops to encourage, advise and support applications from diverse groups.
  • Undertaking regular engagement with minority ethnic community organisations and employability providers to explore ways to refine recruitment processes to engage more minority ethnic candidates. Some organisations have found that this has led to an increase in minority ethnic applicants.
  • Reviewing where and how jobs are advertised (for example non-internet based recruitment such as leaflet drops, open days and TV campaigns). This non-standard recruitment resulted in an increase in minority ethnic applicants.
  • Reviewing ‘employer brand’ to make employers more visibly inclusive.
  • Focusing on recruitment data at each stage of recruitment process to identify issues and action plan.
  • Some councils have established platforms to support minority ethnic communities across the local authority area, such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which aims to provide learners with a better understanding of jobs and application processes.
  • Training lead panel members in recruitment practices and unconscious bias and endeavouring to have diversity in selection panels.
  • Offering Modern Apprenticeship placements, paid work experience opportunities and internships for minority ethnic young people.
  • Reviewing the Scottish Government Race, Recruitment and Retention Action Plan objectives at board level and embedding them in the organisation.


  • Establishing resourced networks for minority ethnic staff, enabling a safe space for staff to discuss experiences, whilst also ensuring senior leader sponsorship of said networks to enable issues to be raised appropriately.
  • Producing anonymous feedback mechanisms for minority ethnic staff, such as a yearly survey, where results are reported at board level and action plans to address issues are developed in partnership with minority ethnic staff.


  • Mutual mentoring between minority ethnic staff and senior leaders to discuss issues and share knowledge. Some organisations have established an e-learning portal to facilitate mutual mentoring.
  • Targeting leadership courses and other progression related training at minority ethnic staff. Some organisations have created learning and development courses specifically for minority ethnic staff with the view to increasing minority ethnic representation in senior roles.

Other Work

  • Collaboration among bodies on areas of good practice, learning and establishing connections.
  • Bringing in external expertise to highlight experiences and challenges of race inequality in the workplace to senior-level decision makers in the organisation.
  • Establishing dedicated resource to lead on race equality in the organisation.
  • Developing an equalities forum to lead on all aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion; to gather information on equalities issues the organisation is facing; and to help bring together everyone’s contribution to inform the organisation’s vision and priorities on equalities.
  • Work is taking place across Councils to work with suppliers to deliver recruitment and employability awareness to minority ethnic young people.

9.5 Good Practice

9.5.1 The following section includes examples and case studies of work that has led to an increase in recruitment, retention and/or progression of minority ethnic staff. This is intended to be a helpful resource for employers to refer to.

CEMVO – Early Learning and Childcare

9.5.2 CEMVO Scotland is a national intermediary organisation and strategic partner of the Scottish Government Equality Unit. Its aim is to build the capacity and sustainability of the minority ethnic voluntary sector and its communities. CEMVO Scotland delivered a two-year Scottish Government funded programme to increase ethnic minorities within the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) workforce. During the delivery of the programme, CEMVO worked with Glasgow City Council (GCC) in 2019 to organise an ELC event targeting minority ethnic communities, with GCC developing a positive action approach in earmarking a number of jobs for minority ethnic communities. Following the event, GCC and CEMVO delivered a follow up ELC application session, and as an outcome of the event and support through CEMVO and GCC, 19 minority ethnic people were successfully recruited into ELC jobs within GCC. CEMVO Scotland – Strengthening Communities Tackling Inequalities

Sikh Sanjog

9.5.3 Sikh Sanjog works to empower sikh and other minority ethnic women and their families. They have worked with women who started off as volunteers and are now leading in a variety of roles, such as Head Chef, Senior Community Development Worker and Senior Youth Worker. All of these roles required commitment and time from both Sikh Sanjog and employers as these women in some instances had left school without any qualifications. The organisation also worked alongside many agencies and colleges to access their training and also helped the agencies to look at bespoke training so that the women were not hindered in any way.

9.5.4 As an example, Sikh Sanjog worked alongside Skills Development Scotland and the Edinburgh training provider ‘Xtra-Mile.Com’ to increase the take up of Modern Apprenticeships in hospitality. Six women completed their SVQ 2 in hospitality services and a further two have started their apprenticeships, with SDS and providing additional support to help them get off to a positive start. They also undertook a review of this work. Report is available here

Pathway Scotland

9.5.5 PATH (Scotland) was established in 1998 under the positive action provisions of first the Race Relations Act (1976) and then the Equality Act (2010) to address the absence of minority ethnic communities in housing and employment. PATH does this by providing paid three-year traineeships within housing associations alongside work- based qualifications. At the end of the placement, PATH support trainees into employment. This has led to over 85% of their trainees gaining and retaining employment post placement.

9.5.6 PATH has also produced a 20 year impact report, “A Life Changing Experience,” carried out by independent evaluators, York Consulting (2018). The report evaluates all of the strands of PATH’s work including the traineeship and leadership programmes. Some of the wider impact is highlighted in the report, which cites examples of key partnerships and stakeholder engagement and is a helpful reference for employers looking for examples of good practice. The impact report can be viewed here and positive action good practice here.

Ethical Standards Commissioner

9.5.7 The Ethical Standards Commissioner and team work to encourage fairness, good conduct and transparency in public life in Scotland. They investigate complaints about the behaviour of MSPs, local authority councillors, and board members of public bodies and lobbyists, and look into how people are appointed to the boards of public bodies in Scotland. They have produced a series of guidance and good practice examples that may help aid employers improve the diversity of their workforce.



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