Diversity and inclusion strategy

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Head of the Government Analysis Function and National Statistician said:

“The Analysis Function has a responsibility to reflect the society we serve in everything we do. Diversity and inclusion must be at the very heart of our analysis, our decisions, our users and our most important asset, our people. I am thrilled to launch this strategy, which will support us in creating a more inclusive environment for our 17,000 analysts across government.

Our people must remain central to our future direction as a function and the voices of all analysts must be heard, especially when making decisions about what is being measured and analysed. We are committed to taking meaningful action across all our professions to tackle discrimination, increase representation and improve the experiences of our colleagues.

We will achieve better outcomes for UK society if we can attract the best talent. To do this we must strive for a working environment that supports all analysts’ career progression, values authenticity and unique inputs, and where all members feel they belong.

Within the analytical community, we all have a duty to make our community truly reflective of the society we serve by helping to attract, develop and progress analysts from all backgrounds. I ask all our members to support this strategy; by doing so, we all enhance our ability to address the challenges we face with diverse perspectives and innovative solutions”.

Our vision and principles

Our vision for Diversity and Inclusion as a function is to create a truly diverse and inclusive analysis community that is reflective of the UK society we serve.

We have great ambitions for both the role of analysis and the analytical community across government over the next three years. As society changes, analysis must also change to ensure we are maximising the impact and value it has on decision making in the UK.

We must increase the diversity of our workforce to ensure that the analysis we produce is representative of a broad range of experiences.

As a function we bring together members of seven analytical professions, as well as any person or team that produces analysis, evidence, and research across government. We strive to be greater stronger as a community of analysts, supporting departmental and profession activity with function-wide initiatives. This will help us create meaningful change for all our members that will be sustainable in the long term.

A diverse workforce must be supported by our function culture and leadership. We are committed to creating an inclusive analytical community where diverse talent thrives. We want to ensure that our members feel empowered, respected, and that their views are valued.

This strategy outlines our aims for creating a truly inclusive Analysis Function and explains how we will achieve this. Real change will only be achieved by members taking accountability for creating a diverse and inclusive environment, and working to improve their understanding of issues around this topic.

Our strategy is based on evidence and taking action to ensure change is made. It has been created by members for members. The strategy will remain agile and iterative, developing alongside our own understanding of the analytical community.

The Analysis Function (AF) has created a number of resources through implementing its Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy. These include:

  • 2021 AF D&I survey results – a document that contains headlines and detailed analysis of the results of the Analysis Function Diversity and Inclusion Survey 2021
  • AF Inclusion Toolkit – documents that contain resources to help government analysts build inclusive teams across the function
  • AF Outreach Pack – documents that contain resources to help government analysts conduct outreach in schools and universities on behalf of the AF and the seven analytical professions

You can ask for copies of these documents by emailing the team at Analysis.Function@ons.gov.uk.

Our Senior Sponsors

Rannia Leontaridi

Our Senior Sponsor is Rannia Leontaridi, Director General for Aviation, Maritime and Security at the Department for Transport. She said:

“I am delighted to be the new Senior Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion within the Analysis Function. I am very privileged to have taken on this role at this time in the life of the Analysis Function. I am motivated by knowing that the function prioritises being a truly inclusive place for any analyst to start and build a career in. I am an Economist with a significant role in the policy profession and I am very proud to straddle both tracks. I have always been able to bring my whole self to work and I am committed to championing the priorities outlined in the Analysis Function strategy and plan for the future. I would like to help ensure that not only new talent starts their career as analysts in the Civil Service but also support and encourage them to be inclusive towards others and offer equal opportunities for career progression to all.

I have been the Gender Champion in three Departments, the Cabinet Office, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and now the Department for Transport (DfT) and I know that with being a Champion comes responsibility to also ensure that action is taken and work is progressing that maximises our function’s opportunities to create an even more inclusive environment for our people. I will be working closely with Departments, including my own (DfT), to help ensure we maximise both the talent we bring into the function and the opportunities we offer to our people.

As an analyst I have had the opportunity to shape policy across many areas of social and economic policy. I know that as analysts we are all proud about the ability influence decision making directly and I also know the pride that we take when our work touches the lives of many. In my current role, as the Director General for Aviation, Maritime and Security at the Department for Transport, the importance of analysis is demonstrated on a daily basis as we work through many issues that affect the Aviation sector from international travel to decarbonisation of the aviation sector, safety and security for passengers and new technology as well as the grass roots aviation and skills. Having a diverse Analysis profession means that our chances for success are higher and we can realise better wellbeing outcomes for our people at this difficult time.

Given my background and my journey to where I am today, I feel passionate about ensuring that work and career progression opportunities are open to all in the Analysis Function and having a wide range of individuals of all backgrounds become the norm and the recipe for success in policy making , problem solving and innovation. An inclusive work environment for me is a resilient, innovative and successful work environment

I look forward to listening to you and working with as many as I can to help deliver an inclusive Analysis Function.”

Our starting point

Understanding our evidence base

To help us understand our evidence base we:

  • looked at data from the Analysis Function Diversity and Inclusion Survey
  • held consultation sessions with members of the Analysis Function
  • considered existing profession and departmental activity

We’ve gathered data and evidence from a wide range of members and stakeholders to understand our baseline and ensure our strategy is truly evidence based. This is our starting point, it is not static and our approach will remain iterative as we gain a greater understanding into the analytical community across government. We will continue to:

  • develop further interventions
  • assessing evidence and user need through ongoing engagement to understand lived experiences
  • use other evidence sources to gather insights, such as the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey
  • test the effectiveness of our actions

What our 2020 survey told us

Between March and April 2020, 1820 analysts across government responded to our annual survey. This is an opportunity sample survey and only representative of the analysts that completed the survey, rather than all analysts across Government.

The survey results showed that:

  • there is a much higher proportion of ethnic minority representation at more junior grades – 30% of Executive Officer (EO) respondents are from an ethnic minority background compared with 22% of Grade 6 respondents, and there are not enough ethnic minority members of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) to report
  • there is a lower proportion of analysts at senior grades identifying as female – 38% of SCS respondents are female
  • 22% of individuals reported a long-term disability and this is considerably higher than previous surveys – the majority of these are hidden disabilities
  • people identifying as female, ethnic minority or disabled analysts were more likely to report discrimination at work in the last 12 months
  • 45% of respondents were working in regional locations, with analysts at more senior grades more likely to be based in London
  • 92% of analysts are in full-time roles
  • in comparison to other grades, respondents at Grade 6 or SCS grades were more likely to indicate attending an independent school

The conclusions have been highlighted because of:

  • substantial differences between scores
  • consistent patterns in the survey – for example, the same results appearing across grades
  • consistent patterns between this survey and previous surveys

You can read the headlines of the 2021 survey results on our webpage.

Identifying how we can make a difference

We then conducted a range of cross-function consultations and further analysed the results alongside the survey data. This helped us to better understand analysts’ experiences across government and identify core areas where a function approach can improve the experiences of all analysts. We need to:

  • increase representation of women and ethnic minority analysts at senior grades
  • diversify role models
  • understand recruitment and promotion biases
  • prioritise social mobility initiatives
  • broaden diversity in our governance structures
  • improve our understanding of the experiences of disabled colleagues
  • raise awareness of micro-behaviours, harassment, and discrimination
  • encourage proactive line management to identify and support high-potential analysts
  • strive for increased understanding and genuine ‘ally-ship’
  • work more effectively with internal staff networks and external organisations or professional bodies
  • advocate for increased transparency in decision-making processes
  • consider targeted development opportunities for underrepresented groups

Our approach and champions

Having identified key themes from the survey and consultations, we have established an approach based on a three-part framework to achieve our aims. To ensure we make a real difference to both existing and future government analysts, we have identified three main aims:

  1. ATTRACT a diverse range of candidates to posts by breaking down structural and perceived barriers to attraction, retention, and progression in the Analysis Function.
  2. BUILD expertise and talent by developing and supporting staff within the Analysis Function through formal development and wider networks.
  3. CREATE an inclusive culture for all by reflecting and promoting opportunities as well as diverse role models and a culture shift across the Analysis Function.

To create real change against these aims, we will take a delivery-led approach with Champions identified to lead three corresponding workstreams.

You can read biographies of our Diversity and Inclusion Champions on our webpage.

Our priorities for change

Like many other government functions and professions, we are at the very early stages of developing a cross-government approach for a specific group of professionals. As such, we will begin by concentrating on ten priority interventions for change. Our consultation with members and our main stakeholders has told us that these interventions will make a real difference at function level.

Aim One

We will ATTRACT a diverse range of candidates to posts by breaking down structural and perceived barriers to attraction, retention, and progression in the Analysis Function.

  1. We will scrutinise and share cross-function recruitment diversity data to better understand the experiences of analysts from under-represented groups across the system and develop a more informed approach to recruitment.
  2. We will consider the use of fast track opportunities for under-represented groups to support the progression of high-performing analysts.
  3. We will diversify our talent pool developing a School and University Outreach approach to include ambassadors, resources and toolkits that articulate what careers in government analysis look like.

Aim Two

We will BUILD expertise and talent by developing and supporting staff within the Analysis Function through formal development and wider networks.

  1. We will continue to host function-wide career building events for under-represented groups, showcasing diverse senior leaders and role models as well as cross-function career journeys and opportunities.
  2. We will develop mentoring and sponsorship networks for analysts from under-represented groups, concentrating on mutual relationship building across the analytical community.
  3. We will increase awareness of, and participation in, existing Civil Service talent and development programmes whilst considering the potential for a function-led programme for high-performing analysts from under-represented groups.

Aim Three

We will CREATE an inclusive culture for all by reflecting and promoting opportunities as well as diverse role models and a culture shift across the Analysis Function.

  1. We will introduce a Shadow Board for the Analysis Function People Board with diverse representation of members across professions, departments, and grades.
  2. We will create and share a range of best practice toolkits and packs for senior analysts and line managers across government, including listening sprints, inclusive leadership, ‘ally-ship’ and micro-behaviours.
  3. We will increase transparency of representation data across the function by publishing our Diversity and Inclusion Survey results every year.
  4. We will refresh the remit of our Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and implement senior sponsorship of our strategy, ensuring clear accountability for the programme of work.

A full detailed Action Plan with 22 actions, including the ten priorities in this section, supports this Strategy and outlines additional areas that the function will be concentrating on in the future.