Race recruitment and retention - an instigation for change: action plan

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.


Since 2017 we have been working to increase the racial diversity of Scottish Government, and to build an inclusive workplace where employees of all ethnic backgrounds can flourish. Despite strong results in some recruitment campaigns, people who identify as from a black, Asian, mixed or multiple ethnicity or an ethnicity other than white (‘minority ethnic’ for the purposes of this Plan) continue to be under represented. 

Our composition is growing, but not fast enough to reach 5% minority ethnic employees by 2025 (our target to be representative of the Scottish working age population). We know that we can only derive the benefit of diverse talent in an inclusive culture where people feel valued, a sense of belonging and able fulfil their potential. Some of our measures tell us we have work to do in this regard – reflected in feedback from minority ethnic colleagues. 

In March 2020 a commitment was given to developing a Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan (‘the Plan’) in the Race Equality Action Plan Year 2 Progress Report. 

During the summer of 2020, the Scottish Government’s Starter for Ten Action Plan was developed by People Directorate, drawing on views and feedback from the Race Equality Network (REN) and Council of Scottish Government Unions (CSGU) following the Black Lives Matter protests and in response to strong challenge from stakeholders to be doing more and at pace. The Starter for Ten Actions have given us a strong foundation to build on for further developing the Plan and all Starter for Ten actions will be delivered in Year 1.

The plan will:

  • Adopt an intersectional approach to analysis and action.
  • Be a live document which is reviewed, updated and amended over time as we progress the actions and learn from our experience.
  • Sit within the wider framework of diversity and inclusion strategy and assurance and deliver, in terms of race, on our two existing equality outcomes (to become more diverse and inclusive).


Email: Diversityteam@gov.scot

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