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Diversity and Inclusion

We’re aiming to create a truly inclusive business here at FCO Services – and we recognise a part to play in helping changing the balance of diversity in the technology and construction industry too. Every day, we make great strides in that together, and though we have much further to go in our journey, we’re proud of the progress we make together.

43% female-identifying Executive Board members – a 14% increase since 2018

But what does a truly inclusive business feel like? It’s where you can be yourself, no holding back. Where you can be appreciated for who you really are and recognised for the contribution you make.

 

It’s where the whole team makes a conscious effort to understand and support each other’s cultures, backgrounds, experiences. Where training is given across the business to help us all do that better.

It’s where you’re supported to do your best work. Where your managers care about trying to meet your needs, from the right working conditions and tools, to the right work patterns.

 

That’s the environment we want for everyone at FCO Services – and we work hard every day to achieve that. And while we’ve got further to go together, we’re proud of the progress we’re making so far.

17.2% of new hires last year were from a BAME background
We’re members of Stonewall Diversity Champions

Every colleague here takes on Unconscious Bias training

We’re proud to be a Disability Confident employer

We provide support and training as Employers for Carers

Our diversity goals

It’s our aim to be a welcoming and inclusive employer, and one that puts colleagues’ physical and emotional wellbeing first. We focus on three key areas to help us do that:
We aim to:
  • Provide fair and equal opportunity for all
  • Promote awareness and understanding of all cultures, and celebrating differences
  • Campaign and promote support for work-life balance and support at work
  • Provide an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Remove barriers that could prevent talented individuals from succeeding
  • Ensure our staff have access to diversity and inclusion training
  • Tackle stigma around mental health and offering mental health and wellbeing support to our staff
  • Maintain equality impact assessments that ensure no-one is discriminated against
  • Ensure our staff have appropriate support, reasonable adjustments, and that they know what’s on offer for them
  • Ensure managers are equipped and enabled to support their team’s needs
  • Be members of recognised professional bodies that support diverse colleagues
  • Build strong relationships with our staff associations and networks
  • Maintain a strong Harassment Advisor Network and an internal mediation service
We aim to:
  • Provide and support diversity champions who’ll be visible role models
  • Make sure our leaders have a conscious approach to inclusivity in the business decisions they make
  • Ensure inclusivity is included in all our people management decisions, from resourcing to development opportunities to recognition
  • Introduce board-level mentoring schemes for under-represented groups
  • Encourage senior leaders to drive and deliver our diversity and inclusion strategy
  • Publish our diversity and equality objectives
  • Comply with mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting and Equal Pay legislation
We aim to:
  • Truly understand and analyse our workforce demographics to know where we need improvement
  • Identify talented colleagues and help them progress quickly
  • Sponsor places on Civil Services dedicated programmes for ethnicity, gender and disability
  • Make sure we appeal to all possible applicants, regardless of background
  • Explore new ways to offer different opportunities that meet the needs of staff with physical or mental disabilities
  • Setting ambitions for workforce representation in priority areas
  • Make sure our recruitment processes are free of barriers and unconscious bias
  • Work with local schools to promote STEM subjects, to help improve diversity in the UK’s long-term technical and engineering workforce

Did you know?

We’re all invested in helping each other in every way possible, lending whatever skills we can to support each other.
A case in point? Our recent stand at the LGBTQ+ event Pride:MK – featuring a handmade wooden sign carved by the Machine Tool Operators in our workshop.

Our partnerships

We’re deeply proud of the affiliations and partnerships that demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity:
logos of our partner organisations

Our progress so far

There’s work still to do, both within our organisation and within the tech and construction industries, but we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken so far. In 2018-19, we saw more representation for every cultural group. More equality. More promotions. And more colleagues than ever who felt they could be their whole selves:

Non-Christian religious representation has risen by 38.5%
From 5.6%
in 2017, we aim for colleagues with disabilities to make up 9% of the team
in 2020
11.9% increase in colleagues comfortable with disclosing sexual orientation
Overall BAME representation is 10.7% and rising – aiming for 12.8% by 2020
From 23.2% female-identifying colleagues in 2016, we’re now at 27.9% – aiming for 30% in 2020

Our diversity networks

We want every colleague to be surrounded by supportive allies. Part of the way we achieve that is through our networks; some of which are jointly run with colleagues from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office team.

Training our colleagues

We aim for a workplace that’s supportive, free from bias, and free from bullying and discrimination. We make sure every colleague equipped to support one another through our training, including:
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Unconscious Bias Training

This course is mandatory for all colleagues, helping us treat colleagues equally.

Equality and Diversity Essentials

This mandatory course trains colleagues in equality legislation and how to tackle inappropriate behaviour.

Mental Health First Aid Training

This course gives colleagues the understanding and confidence to help colleagues in distress.

Mental Health Awareness Training

With video and digital learning, this training helps us all support each other’s mental health, as well as our own.

Respect in the Workplace

Essential for managers, this course tackles how to spot and stop bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Supporting Carers in your Workplace

This course helps managers and teams alike to support staff with care responsibilities.

Wellbeing Confident Leadership

Delivered to 117 leaders so far across the business, this course helps managers train to support and improve the wellbeing of their team.

Supporting ex-forces colleagues

If you’re transitioning from the armed forces into FCO Services, you’ll be in very good company. We’re experienced employers for ex-forces colleagues, working with CTP among other organisations, and we need people with skillsets just like yours. Because of that, there are ex-forces personnel across our organisation, so you’ll always have people you can turn to for advice and support – as well as a team around you who’ll help you adjust.

51.5% of new hires last year were female-identifying
5.5% of new hires last year felt comfortable in disclosing mental or physical disabilities

Did you know?

We’re training Mental Health First Aiders around the business.
The first training course kicked off in February 2017, and more and more colleagues participate every year.

Workplace adjustments

Every colleague should have a workplace and a working pattern that meets their needs and enables their best work. As a Disability Confident employer, we offer and make adjustments for anyone who needs it.

That could include:

  • Changing your working pattern
  • Adapting equipment, keyboards and work stations
  • Making doors easier to open
  • Specialist software packages
  • Making changes to the space you work in
  • Ensuring access to accessible bathrooms
  • Reallocating tasks among the team
  • Adapting the team’s communication style

We also make reasonable adjustments in our application and interview process, and you can find out about that on our How to apply page.

Workplace passports

From carers to colleagues with disabilities or long-term health conditions, lots of us have specific needs when it comes to our workplace and our work pattern. We are committed to the Civil Service Workplace Adjustment Passport Scheme to make it easier for colleagues to get what they need. Here’s how:
  1. A confidential document is a live record you can update with exactly which adjustments you need in order to feel comfortable and enabled to do your best work.
  2. When you move into a new role with a new manager, you can provide this document to them so that they immediately know what you need – without any hassle for you.
  3. No-one sees the passport unless you want them to, and it’s confidential when you do share it – meaning if you prefer discretion in establishing your needs, this makes it easier.
  4. You can also use the passport to help highlight non-visible mental and physical conditions. If you want your team to understand, you can use it to quickly share your experiences and what you need from them.

For more on how Workplace Adjustment Passports can help, you can find out about the experiences of colleagues across the Civil Service here.

Supporting everyone’s mental wellbeing

Mind, the mental health charity, estimates that every year, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue. We’re making sure that our colleagues are supported, and that they know how to support each other. That includes:

  • Workplace adjustments for mental health conditions
  • Equal care for mental and physical health conditions
  • Mental Health First Aid training to look after each other
  • Dedicated wellbeing rooms for a calm, quiet space
  • The Wellbeing Network for support and awareness
  • Time to Talk Days, tackling stigma around mental health
  • A rolling programme of Safe Space sessions for all colleagues
  • Access to a Community Liaison Officer while posted overseas

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