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.

How will we deliver change?

An anti-racist approach sits at the heart of the development and delivery of this Plan. This means that:

  • We recognise that there is no such thing as a race neutral policy, and that every people policy or decision we make has the power to create racial equality or inequality for our employees.
  • We are focused on changing systems, organisational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.

We recognise that the barriers – and hence the burden for change – rest not with minority ethnic people but with our systems and cultures. To do this, we need to work at individual, team, policy and national levels. 

Sharing – and relinquishing – power, and building collective leadership are critical to making systemic changes. We will seek to do this by increasing the representation of minority ethnic people in the Senior Civil Service and by exploring structures which enable diverse voices to effectively influence decision-making spaces. However, in keeping with the principle that we all must change, we will focus on building an anti-racist mindset amongst senior leaders to enable them to effectively challenge decisions, behaviours and attitudes which may result in racial inequity. 

To support that change in behaviours and attitudes, we will build a critical mass of race allies across a range of business functions, grades and roles. We will focus on creating opportunities for exposure to diverse experiences and ways of thinking; building empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives; and engaging to listen and understand and act on what minority ethnic colleagues are telling us is their experience. 

Within the detail of the actions in the Plan, we have worked with the Race Equality Network to identify the ‘game changers’. A comparatively small number of actions which are considered to have the most impact to advancing race equality and inclusion. In the action plan they are marked ‘Priority’.

These were selected on the basis of being actions which:

  • Signal tangible changes to what minority ethnic colleagues see and feel. 
  • Would make significant change to how we recruit.
  • Build awareness and understanding of senior leaders, action owners, line managers of what it means to be actively anti-racist and 
  • Build clarity and understanding of the barriers and opportunities for change.

In delivering the Plan, these ‘game changers’ will be our core focus for delivery but we will not lose sight of the remaining actions identified. Through an annual process of progress assessment and development of annual delivery of the plans, we will review these remaining actions and identify we are in a position to bring those on-stream for delivery.


Email: Diversityteam@gov.scot

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