This commitment was launched at the Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment held on 24 March 2021 and we urge public sector leaders to also take up this pledge in our collective bid to tackle race inequality in employment.
Public Sector Leadership Summit – joint commitment
The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee inquiry of 2020 has highlighted the persistent issues that impact on outcomes for minority ethnic people in Scotland moving into, staying in and progressing in employment. Their recommendations below highlight both systemic issues perpetuating race inequality in recruitment practice and in the workplace, as well as the need to improve practices such as the gathering and analysis of workforce data to inform action plans and determine measurable outcomes:
- The Committee recommends 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.”
- “The Committee recommends public authorities should review their recruitment procedures and practice against the Scottish Government’s toolkit and make the necessary changes.”
- “The Committee recommends that all public authorities subject to the Scottish specific Public Sector Equality Duty should, as a minimum, voluntarily record and publish their ethnicity pay gap and produce an action plan to deliver identified outcomes.”
We accept these recommendations, and are absolutely committed to taking them forward, as well as supporting other public sector organisations to do so. We must recognise that a team Scotland approach is required and our public sector should lead the way as we work to make Scotland a Fair Work nation.
The importance of employment in addressing racial inequality cannot be overstated, and in this current climate where inequalities have not only been highlighted, but further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, never has there been a greater need to take action.
As public sector leaders, we will be bold and transparent. We will embed the recommendations into the strategic objectives of our organisations and the performance objectives of our senior leaders. We will take responsibility to assess our organisation’s understanding of institutional racism and proactively challenge and change practices that disadvantage minority ethnic communities. Vitally, we will ensure that minority ethnic communities are involved in shaping this change.
We recognise that taking forward the recommendations represents not a final, but a further step, and therefore this work will form part of the continuum of activity to tackle racial inequality in employment, including the Race Equality Framework 2016-2030. It is important that we make this commitment clear, not just to each other, but to our staff and service users, who will hold us to account. We have therefore published this commitment on our website and social media.
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