‘A meeting of minds’ – key take aways from Whitehall and Industry Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2023
It’s rare to get the opportunity to listen and take part in a diversity and inclusion conference with such reach across business and both the public and Third Sectors. But that’s exactly what happened in March this year when delegates from organisations ranging from Lloyds of London, Barclays, Coca Cola, the Bank of England, KPMG, the British Council, Cabinet Office, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The City of London Corporation and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission shared thoughts, trends and best EDI practice from across the UK.
There are more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) senior leadership and board roles than ever before. In fact, since 2016 the number of women working in STEM fields overall in the UK has increased, recently hitting over the 1 million mark for the first time ever.
Results on diverse appointments have been slow in coming in both the private and public sectors. Jonathan Swain, Managing Director of McLean Public, explains why he’s optimistic new targets on diverse hiring will be met, but only if organisations and recruiters employ new methods to get ‘beyond the usual suspects’.
Recent research published by the Fawcett Society and Democracy Club has revealed that the vast majority (95%) of local authorities across the UK are dominated by men, while only just over a third of local councillors are women, according to figures that highlight the ongoing gender disparities of local government. Based on the current rates of change for female councillors, 50:50 representation will not be achieved until 2050. With the May local government elections fast approaching, the research reveals only 18 of 382 councils have achieved gender representation parity.
As companies navigate their way through the previous three years of upheaval, we at McLean Public have been reflecting on how the executive search world has evolved to cope with the changing demands of an increasingly candidate-centric market. Here are the top five trends for the public sector we believe are here to stay.
Local and regional government face unprecedented challenges. These include economic uncertainty, the need to tackle climate change, acute housing shortages and increasing customer expectations. All this is alongside long standing financial pressures and jarring inequalities within the communities they serve. The importance of inclusive leadership during these times has never been so important to ensure people’s needs are met not just now but sustainably so for the future.