Civil service applauds inclusion and diversity stars

Champions who make a difference to staff and service users saluted at Whitehall ceremony


By Jim.Dunton

05 Oct 2018

Award winners

An MHCLG staff member who transformed her department’s awareness of mental health issues and a Crown Prosecution Service group that created a first-of-its-kind LGBTI conference are among the winners of this year’s Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards.

They were among seven winners and five highly commended teams and individuals at the 12th annual awards, in a ceremony organised in conjunction with Civil Service World’s parent company, Dods Group, and held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Kate Abbott, who works at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, won the Cabinet Secretary’s Inclusion Award in recognition of her work to boost awareness of mental health issues across the department.


MHCLG colleagues said she had been “vital in breaking down the stigma of mental health in the department” and “making it a much more supportive environment” by being a role model for many. They added that she had not only initiated the drive, which had prompted many more people to be aware of different mental health conditions and “thinking about how they can build an inclusive environment”, but also said she personally replied to e-mails and helped others with their problems in addition to her regular workload.

Staff from Durham and Tees Valley Jobcentre Plus won the awards’ Championing Disability Inclusion category for their work in building bridges between older pupils at local special schools and employers in the district. Their work has led to more than 20 employers visiting schools and resulted in site visits for youngsters, work placements and job offers.

Jobcentre Plus staff also prepared pupils for their work experience, including designing and delivering a wide range of bespoke employability sessions – such as specialist autism awareness tools. The team has also been invited to be part of two local special educational needs and disability strategy groups.

The cross-government Suffrage Centenary Volunteer Team is winner of the 2018 Championing Gender Equality Award for a programme of awareness-raising and equality-promoting events timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which opened the door to full suffrage a decade later. The team’s campaigning has had global reach, as well as prompting individual agencies and departments to commit to new gender-equality objectives on pay and senior appointments. 

Jason Ghaboos was highly commended in the Championing Gender Equality category for his work in the Home Office, which adopted a data-driven approach to profiling gender-culture problem areas in the department. Ghaboos’ work led to him being approached by the University of Cambridge to undertake a secondment looking at gender and workplace culture.

The National Black Crown Prosecution Association won the 2018 LGBTI Award for its success in hosting a first-of-its-kind conference on race, culture, religion and their impact on access to justice for black, Asian and ethic minority LGBTI people. The association, which draws its membership from Crown Prosecution Service staff, organised the event in conjunction with the CPS LGBT Network. It looked at hate crime, racism within the wider LGBTI community, and homophobia and transphobia generated by faith leaders within the BAME community.  

HM Land Registry staff member Emma Dunn was highly commended in the LGBTI category for her “relentless campaign of public speaking” a range of events over the past 18 months. 

This year's Championing Race Equality Award was won by Tendai Trafford of the Health and Safety Executive for his work in identifying gaps in the organisation’s inclusive recruitment practices and positively collaborating with colleagues to usher in change. Trafford’s initiative included a “bring your whole identity to the workplace” approach and helped more inclusive recruitment practices and closer collaborative working between departments and thier equality networks. 

Bernadette Thompson and Anita Bhalla were highly commended in the category for their Race to the Top G6/7 Network, which is aimed at addressing BAME underrepresentation in the Senior Civil Service.

The 2018 Championing Social Mobility Award was won by Charlotte Dring for spearheading the growth of the Cross Government Social Mobility Network. In just over one year MHCLG staffer Dring drove the network grow from zero to 130 members, with 10 new social-mobility networks also set up in departments. Her leadership also saw the creation of a northern hub for the networks, called Nexus. 

Highly commended in the Championing Social Mobility category was the Ministry of Justice’s Social Mobility Team.

The MoJ’s Digital & Technology Normalising Group won the 2018 Employee Network Award for its work in increasing the representation of women in the directorate from 25% to 32%, and to 50% for SCS staff. The group’s work has also seen increases in BAME staff numbers from 8% to 19%, and from 0% to 10% of the senior management team. 

The group’s work has also encouraged the directorate's LGBTQ* and allies community members to declare their sexuality. It said the directorate had now gone from 3% to 6% of staff openly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or “other” against the UK average of 2%.

Highly commended in the category was the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Ability Network.

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