With the end of 2017 fast approaching, 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?
We introduced gender pay gap regulations, which means that by April 2018 every organisation with more than 250 employees will need to calculate and report their gender pay gap for the first time. This is world-leading legislation – no other country is asking as many organisations to report publicly in such a detailed and specific way. In fact, on a recent trip to the US and Canada, the GEO team got applause and cheers for this groundbreaking work!
I’m also extremely proud of GEO’s recent national survey asking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people about their experiences living in the UK. We got an incredible reaction – over 100,000 responses, which makes it the biggest LGBT survey anywhere in the world – and this gives us a great evidence base to build on in the future.
What was your most difficult decision in 2017?
Deciding where to prioritise our resources is often the most difficult part of my job. This is a great time to be working on equalities, with a huge amount of media and public interest in what we’re doing and real progress to celebrate.
But there’s a lot more we want to do – from going further to tackle the gender pay gap, to looking at the role of social norms in driving behaviour, supporting LGBT people more effectively, and keeping equalities legislation current. We’re constantly working to ensure we achieve the greatest possible impact in everything we do.
What are your department’s top priorities in the year ahead?
2018 is going to be a busy year for GEO. As well as marking the first year of gender pay gap reporting, we’re leading government celebrations of the centenary of women’s suffrage, and we’ve recently launched a partnership on gender with the Behavioural Insights Team. We’ll be drawing on the results of our LGBT survey to develop an ambitious LGBT action plan, and a big focus is reviewing whether the Gender Recognition Act is fit for purpose, while working to reduce the stigma faced by the trans community.
For you, no Christmas holiday is complete without...
Sloe gin, carols, and Christmas stockings for everyone!