Today marks the launch of the 2020 Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards. Now is the chance to nominate the teams and individuals that you feel are making the Civil Service a more inclusive place to work - and for us all to share our stories and successes.
The Awards are now in their 14th year, and have always been a great opportunity to celebrate all of the brilliant work happening across government to ensure that we have a mix of people working in the Civil Service, and that we work in a way that includes everyone.
This year, though, I hope the awards will be an even more noteworthy event. Partly because this year is our Year of Inclusion across the Civil Service - something that has had to be more of a virtual celebration given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but something that is still really important to us.
Also partly because we have added four new awards this year and are looking for nominations across twelve different categories - so there should be additional opportunities to recognise the brilliant work happening in different teams every day.
Nominees can be of any grade and in any team - nominations open on the 8th of July and close on 6 August. Our aim is that finalists within each category will be invited to the awards ceremony in London on the afternoon of 4 December (depending on the social distancing guidelines at that point), when the winners will be announced. We will of course make sure there is a Livestream of the event for all those who want to follow the ceremony and hear about the brilliant work that is being done across the Civil Service.
Since being appointed Civil Service D&I champion, I have seen some great examples of teams and networks pulling together to make our workplaces more inclusive. The conversations that have been amplified by the Black Lives Matter movement point out how much further we have to go, and I am personally committed to driving much faster progress.
But even within that context, I want us to be able to celebrate the high points that are already there. I want us to be able to recognise the people who are going that bit further to increase the diversity of their teams, to support and sponsor others, to tackle any barriers in the way of others feeling fully included - and who are making the Civil Service a better place to work as a result.
We are a Civil Service that is committed to delivering the best outcomes we can for citizens, and the way we will do that is by being both diverse and inclusive. I hope that you will find people and projects to nominate, and that you will join us for the awards in December to recognise and celebrate their success.
Alex Chisholm, Civil Service Chief Operating Officer, Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary and Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Champion