'We develop and coordinate ambitious new action across government to deliver on the net zero target'

A huge diversity of people and roles make up the modern civil service. Justin Placide leads a team helping to coordinate climate change action and also spurs equality efforts across the civil service

By Civil Service World

02 Aug 2022

Justin Placide, head of net zero governance and fiscal events, BEIS, London

When and why did you join the civil service?

I joined the civil service in 2007 on a temporary contract because I wanted to help people on a larger scale and influence decision makers who were creating policies which were disproportionately affecting people within my community.  

What did you do before?

After finishing university, my first career journey was joining the financial industry working for a company selling pensions and mortgages. I loved the job because I had the opportunity to work with a diversity of people and I enjoyed calculating how much compensation should be paid to people who were mis-sold endowment policies.

Tell us what you do and how it helps citizens?

I head up the Net Zero Governance and Fiscal Events Team based at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Our focus is on developing and co-ordinating ambitious new action across government to deliver on the net zero target and on interim carbon budgets.

“Our committees and volunteers worked long hours after work, creating an online support network to help colleagues in the civil service adapt to working from home”

How did your role change during the pandemic?

In my former role working within Business Investment, my role changed drastically. We had to accelerate our business-as-usual work and help create a helpline, grant scheme and payment method to support businesses and their employees that were impacted by the pandemic.

I also have another role as co-chair of the Faith and Minority Ethnic (FAME) Network and The Civil Service Race Forum (CSRF). Along with my diversity and inclusion partner-in-crime Sharon Lo, I lead our members to deliver on our goals and objectives. Our committees and volunteers worked long hours after work, creating an online support network to help our members and other colleagues in the civil service adapt to working from home. Additionally, we supported those whose mental health and wellbeing was impacted due to being in isolation. All of this was being delivered against a background of the murder of George Floyd, racial trauma, protests across the world and the impact of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable and ethnic minority communities.

How have your skills developed since you joined the civil service?

My leadership skills have improved due to working with and leading large teams of people throughout the pandemic, my inclusive approach and emotional and cultural intelligence has also improved due to helping and collaborating with so many other great D&I networks across the civil service.

This profile is part of a series looking at the huge diversity of people and roles that make up the modern civil service. Read more here

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