The customers at the Debt Technical Office (DTO) have diverse financial situations and varying social and cultural backgrounds; some are vulnerable and require particular care and understanding, which they receive from Cathy. She provides the best possible service as a point of contact for victims of domestic violence and acts as a champion for vulnerable customers and those with mental health issues. There was no published guidance available to our staff to adequately support our vulnerable customers, so Cathy researched any learning material she could find on the internet and liaised with HMRC policy teams and senior leaders to improve standards and establish best practice.
Initially this role was treated as a specialist area, and Cathy alone dealt with customers on very low incomes and those experiencing health problems or extremely distressing trauma. Cathy treated each customer as an individual, using empathy, sensitivity and tact. However, due to a rapidly increasing workload, it was agreed that all members of staff should be trained to deal with vulnerable customers. Cathy addressed this transition of work by designing materials and delivering training for 100 staff including managers, and helping to reshape policies and determine best practise.
Cathie has been championing Disability awareness in PT Ops Manchester & the department for a number of years alongside her day job. She campaigns and challenges passionately to raise awareness for change within the department on these disability issues as she wants to make the workplace a fair and great place for everybody.
Cathie works very closely with the visually impaired working group. She is a Committee member and Disability Network Moderator providing regular testing support and advice to users & managers throughout HMRC. She has provided a considerable amount of end user testing for CDIO using Supernova to test if applications are suitable for our visually impaired staff. Cathie provided significant support during a 3 month period between December & February 17. She supported 140 Jobholders & 69 Managers with specific disability related issues, and was instrumental in the creation of the Reasonable adjustment passport which is now used extensively across HMRC & Civil service wide.
The cross government menopause group, set up by EA, is providing a good network for sharing information and ideas. They have representation from both large and small departments with new members joining weekly.
The group have secured agreement from Civil Service Learning to work with them on a module to help educate colleagues about the menopause, breaking down that taboo.
The Menopause Group was established as part of the EAs Women's Network in 2015 and DWP did the same in 2016. In both Departments a small group of colleagues came together to consider how to support those impacted by the menopause at work. They wanted to get the difficult conversation started. It's a tricky subject and a conversation most of the group wanted to avoid, but having the right information available for discussions can make a big difference. They established online support groups to share ideas, information, and somewhere to confidentially talk about the menopause. They developed a Menopause discussion pack to help start a conversation. It offers information about how the menopause can affect women and how changes in the workplace can help women to continue to perform well.
Ross chairs MOD LGBT+ Network "Sh..OUT" in addition to his day job. Using prior experience from working in other government departments, he identified that although the LGBT+ community was widely accepted in the MOD, the department as a whole still had somewhat of a negative external image as a white heterosexual male dominated environment which is not very diverse or accepting particularly of LGBT+ individuals.
Ross realised that the most powerful course of action to take to tackle this would be to implement the Stonewall LGBT Straight Allies initiative across the MOD and get visible Straight Allies to speak up and speak out to combat discrimination. To advertise the initiative Ross organised a launch event which was open to all defence personnel. He managed to secure pivotal speakers for the event including the Permanent Secretary of the MOD and the Senior LGBT+ Champion. The event was so successful his network was overwhelmed with people wishing to stand up and become an ally. In addition Ross secured funding for Stonewall to deliver the Straight Ally training and due to the amount of interest he secured additional funding to run a second course.
Kulvinder Bassi has positively engaged with a wide range of staff, including permanent secretaries, senior management in DfT and members of staff. His superb energy, networking skills and his ways of making a tangible difference about how people feel have been developed over 20 years of leading DfT's award winning Positive Support Group and as the founder and former chair of the Civil Service Race Forum.
Kul's personal commitment to PSG and its members, and the innovative work he has done with a series of DG Race Champions and other partners, has set the bar high for other DfT networks and across the Civil Service. Kul is an inspiring leader, growing the membership of his network to nearly 80% of BAME people in DfT and working with his executive to build an annual programme of initiatives supporting members' career aspirations and raising wider cultural awareness. Some of his most innovative programmes are being delivered with other sector partners - an emerging sponsorship initiative inspired by Deloittes; a fast expanding mentoring partnership with KPMG and his annual, hugely inventive, events for DfT inclusion week - often delivered with transport sector partners.
As a vocal advocate for DfT, he has helped shape our "new Deal for Staff Networks," articulating mutual expectations between our staff networks, their Champions and the department (HR). His influence in setting the tone and direction of his network (critical friend and co-driver of innovation) has directly influenced the way we do business with all our networks and is the model for new and emerging ones.
The MoJ Schools Programme was developed in November 2016 to increase awareness, build confidence and enhance the career aspirations of young people from a range of backgrounds as they transition from school to employment.
The Programme is targeted at schools with more than 20% eligibility for free school meals. Volunteers work with schools to design and deliver a programme that will engage pupils, building their skills and confidence while signposting apprenticeship, graduate and entry level opportunities. Evidence suggests that careers talks are best received when they come from 'graduates' of a school. So we ask volunteers, where possible, to return to the schools they attended.
The aim of the MoJ Schools Programme is to increase applications - and ultimately recruitment - of candidates from less advantaged backgrounds, drawing in talent from the widest range of sources to improve business performance and to develop a workforce that truly represents the public we serve. MoJ have produced a range of tailored material to convey the message that less advantaged young people are encouraged to apply for jobs in the Civil Service, and if successful can have a rewarding career. At the core of this campaign is a series of nine short films detailing the experience of a diverse group of MoJ staff. Their stories reflect the life experiences that many recruitment or workplace social mobility surveys seek to identify - attendance at low-performing schools, coming from less advantaged areas, experience of care, disability. This is supported by banners and leaflets. The tagline is 'If I can do it, so can you.' All media includes a call to action in the form of signposting to the Civil Service Jobs website.
The Security and Defence Diversity and Inclusion Network was set up in by the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office in 2015 in response to an SDSR commitment to "establish a security and defence diversity network, sharing best practice and addressing our shared challenges, to drive development of a more diverse and inclusive national security community". The cross-government network includes representatives from MOD, FCO, Home Office, Cabinet Office, NCA, UK Intelligence Community, and DFID. The driver behind the commitment has been a recognition that national security departments are less diverse than other parts of the civil service due to some shared blockers, which can best be addressed collectively. Since it was formed, the network has completed a number of initiatives including gathering data and using it to identify trends; agreeing specific blockers to address quickly; sharead information on areas of expertise; secured and supported D&I discussions with NSC(O) achieving senior support; and commissioning and sponsoring the Mission Critical Toolkit.
● Used this data to identify trends and priorities
● Agreed specific blockers to address quickly
● Shared information on areas of expertise
● Lobbied for, secured and supported 2 NSC(O) discussions of D and I, which secured senior support for the Network's approach and action plan
● Commissioned and sponsored production of the Mission Critical Diversity and Inclusion toolkit (due for launch June 2017)