Chief people officer Rupert McNeil on diversity networks, LGBT representation, and Christmas cake
At the end of 2017, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2018 – and tell us what they cannot do Christmas without
What are you most proud of achieving in 2017?
I’m extremely proud of the progress we’re making towards a more diverse and representative civil service. We have increased engagement with diversity networks, focused on reducing unconscious bias in selection, and taken positive action for disabled and ethnic minority talent scheme applicants where necessary. This work has been reflected in our approach to Fast Stream recruitment and other talent scheme selection across government.
Our 2018 cohorts of the Future Leaders Scheme and Senior Leaders Scheme both have a high representation of participants from ethnic minorities and an increase in LGBT and disability representation over last year.
What was your most difficult decision in 2017?
Making the decision to change our learning model. It wasn’t working the way we needed it to work and so wasn’t able to deliver the service our customers required. Our on-line content needed to become free at point of use to encourage uptake, with a strong emphasis on groups of products to provide fundamental learning for managers to develop into strong leaders.
We have made this learning available in partnership with the new leadership academy and will continue to build on this going forward, as learning is an essential part of creating skilled leaders and a brilliant civil service.
What are your department’s top priorities in the year ahead?
Our key priorities focus on capability: ensuring efficient and strategic workforce planning around the EU exit; making the most of the opportunity the D&I strategy presents and embedding it into departments to create environments where differences of thought and outlook are respected and welcomed; and continuing the drive to promote and establish the leadership academy to enable our leaders to be inspiring, confident and empowering in an increasingly complex and multi-disciplinary world.
For you, no Christmas holiday is complete without…
Christmas cake, particularly when bought from my daughter’s school Christmas fete!