By Civil Service World

08 Jan 2020

As 2020 approaches, senior figures from across government reflect on their highlights and challenges of 2019, look ahead to the next 12 months and share their favourite festive memories

What was your highlight of 2019?

The introduction of diverse interview panels for all Senior Civil Service recruitment campaigns in April. This means at least one panellist who is from a BAME background and/or is a disabled person. Often this means that people in Grades 7 and 6 from those protected characteristics are being trained to join panels and are bringing parity of decision-making in the recruitment and selection of senior leaders to ensure we have in place on all our panels a diversity of thought, approach, opinion and lived experience, to provide true independent scrutiny to interview panels. This also acts as a great development opportunity for more junior staff.

What has been the most significant change in your network this year?

"This year’s Black History Month saw more than 100 events delivered as part of our collective efforts – our highest number ever!"

It has been great to see more race networks joining the Civil Service Race Forum, which has led to increased collaboration between more than 40 different government race networks who are members of the CSRF – and who collectively have more than 10,000 members. A key part of what we do is developing the capability of newer staff networks, and working together to combine efforts and resources on key issues and priorities. Additionally, this year’s Black History Month saw more than 100 events delivered as part of our collective efforts – our highest number ever!

What will be the biggest challenge of 2020 – and how are you preparing to meet it?

As the civil service aims to become the UK’s most inclusive employer in 2020, we will continue to find innovative actions and solutions to tackle the challenges of BAME underrepresentation and its intersections. Part of this is listening to the expertise and lived experience of civil servants and the staff networks that represent them.

Tell us a favourite festive memory from your youth...

Big get-togethers, with family and friends coming from all over the country and the world to celebrate and enjoy quality time together.

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