Home Office Appoints ‘Diversity Champion’

personneltoday.com, Jul. 30

The Home Office has appointed its first ‘diversity champion’ for race, gender and disability issues.

Derrick Anderson, chief executive of Wolverhampton City Council, will be working with the permanent secretary of the Home Office, John Gieve, and the rest of the Home Office board, to deliver a new five-year staff race and diversity programme.

The programme will focus on creating ownership of diversity issues by making the links between leadership, business and people management.

Gieve said Anderson would give diversity a voice on the board and provide leadership as the Home Office works to recruit, retain and promote from all communities in the UK.

“Bringing about race equality, active citizenship and cohesive communities are at the heart of our purpose and are essential to build security, trust and to reduce crime,” he said. “If we are to succeed it is imperative that our workforce reflects and understands the diverse communities that we serve.”

The five-year programme will include:

—diversity awareness training for all staff, beginning with a pilot scheme in September 2004

—a development programme to support staff in under-represented groups. This will include coaching and career management coupled with help to prepare for assessment centres and fast-track Civil Service recruitment competitions

—a pilot mentoring scheme to support the progression of under-represented staff into the higher ranks of the Civil Service

—introducing new assessment techniques to reduce the chances of recruiting staff with prejudicial attitudes.

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