08 Dec, 20218:45 am-4:00 pm
Central London

The Diversity and Inclusion in the Public Sector Conference will explore how public sector organisations can develop strategies which ensure long-term progress towards equality, diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Specifically designed for the local and central government sector and the wider public sector, this event will highlight areas of improvement to support the breaking down of barriers, a more diverse workforce and inclusive leadership. Expert speakers and leaders from across the public sector will share examples of best practice and outline the impact of the pandemic on ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Policy Background

Between 2014 and 2018 there was little change in the ethnic diversity of the public sector workforce. In the public sector only 1 in 16 people at senior levels are from a minority ethnic background. The most ethnically diverse workforce are NHS Doctors, with firefighters and police officers the least ethnically diverse workforces. More than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination. So how can public sector organisations work towards reducing inequalities and ensure all employees feel included?

Significant progress has been made towards a more diverse and inclusive public sector workforce, but there is still room for improvement. It is widely recognised that a diverse workforce can be a strong contributor to innovation, organisational performance and building trust. To transition to a truly inclusive workplace significant effort is required from leaders in the organisation to embed inclusivity in organisational practices, policies, managers and employees. Building an inclusive culture takes time and requires commitment from across the organisation.

What to expect:

  • Hear from expert speakers from across the sector on building inclusive work practices in order to help create truly diverse, equal and inclusive workplaces
  • Explore practical solutions for key diversity and inclusion challenges in the public sector though practical workshops and discussions
  • Evaluate where your organisation stands on its inclusivity journey and the next steps to take to continue making progress
  • Discuss how to effectively break down barriers in your organisation, to support the progression, development, happiness and wellbeing of all employees
  • Learn what support is available to you as an organisation and how you can work in partnership with other leaders in the sector to transform into an inclusive and diverse employer


8:45 am
Registration, Refreshment and Networking
9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address

Following a successful podcast episode with TES in February, in which she discussed her experiences of racism in education, and highlighted her pioneering work to address the issues in the sector, Khadija is now a finalist for The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Award’s for ‘Diversity Hero of The Year 2021’.

Khadija Mohammed will kick-off the Public Sector Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2021, sharing some key themes from her recent research which is focused in striving towards equality in academia.

Khadija Mohammed
Khadija Mohammed
Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Social Sciences
University of the West of Scotland
9:40 am
Back in the Room Icebreakers

With our live Conference back, we will be kicking off the Diversity and Inclusion in the Public Sector Conference with interactive icebreakers.

This session will allow you to get to know colleagues from across the sector and explore your key learning objectives for the day.

Expect lots of interaction and an opportunity to restart your face-to-face networking experience!

9:55 am
Acas Guidance Update: Improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workplace
  • Outlining how to effectively collect and analyse data from employees to inform your equality, diversity and inclusion policy
  • Sharing recourses available through Acas which can help you investigate and reflect on your workplace practices and their impact on employees
  • Exploring how to best develop a workplace equal opportunities policy and support employees who do not feel included through an effective action plan
  • Discussing strategies for dealing with unconscious bias at work, within both recruitment and internal performance practices
Julie Dennis
Julie Dennis
Head of Diversity and Inclusion
10:15 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
10:25 am
Department for Work and Pensions Update: Striving for Diversity and Inclusion in the Civil Service

In this session Justin Tomlinson MP will:

  • Share how the Department for Work and Pensions has successfully eliminated the gender pay gap, setting the standards for the rest of the civil service
  • Outline how by centering diversity and inclusion, DWP has been able to facilitate creativity and innovation through the convergence of insights, background and life experience
  • Outline the vital role of data in achieving an inclusive and equitable workforce, offering guidance on how best to maximise your resources to ensure diversity
Justin Tomlinson MP
Justin Tomlinson MP
Minister of State (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work)
Department for Work and Pensions
10:45 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
10:55 am
The Impact of Covid-19 on Diversity and Inclusion
Dr Holly Birkett
Dr Holly Birkett
Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC), University of Birmingham
11:25 am
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
11:35 am
Speed Networking and Refreshments

Your opportunity to make connections with employers and institutions from across the sector.

This speed networking session will allow you to form new contacts and hear about best practice from across the sector.

Stand down your business cards! Our networking session is entirely contactless, with you being able to form connections via our Conference app.

11:55 am
Interactive Panel Discussion: Top Tips for Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Public Sector

During this discussion panellists will discuss the main challenges faced by the public sector in improving diversity and inclusion and the solutions they have found to be most effective.

Throughout this session delegates will also be encouraged to put forward their common challenges for the panel to discuss potential solutions that their peers can learn from. 

  • Outlining the key diversity and inclusion challenges faced in the public sector and the main priorities organisations should focus on to improve outcomes
  • Sharing best practice and solutions that other organisations can learn from to effectively improve diversity and inclusion
  • Understanding how to break down barriers in order to support employees and create inclusive workplaces
  • Discussing the impact Covid-19 has had on diversity and inclusion practices and how to ensure continuing progress
Bernadette Thompson
Bernadette Thompson
Deputy Director for Inclusion, Wellbeing and Employee Engagement
Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government
Kerri-Ann O’Neill
Kerri-Ann O’Neill
People and Transformation Director
Chief Constable Foulkes
Chief Constable Foulkes
National Lead for Policing on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
North Wales Police
12:35 pm
Networking Lunch
1:15 pm
Afternoon Keynote: Developing and Delivering Inclusive Recruitment Practices

Reflecting on the Declaration on Government Reform, published in June, Jason will explore the vision this sets out for D&I across the Civil Service. Looking at the Civil Service’s commitment to a D&I strategy focussed to better promote fairness and performance by:

  • Setting a new standard for diversity and inclusion with the merit principle front and centre
  • Drawing on the talents of the widest possible range of geographical, social and career backgrounds
  • Making sure that citizens from minority ethnic backgrounds, those living with disabilities and those who have experienced disadvantage in their early lives can flourish in public service
  • Developing an ethos of a connected government across the UK with career opportunities in every part of the country open to all
Jason Ghaboos
Jason Ghaboos
Deputy Director, Civil Service Inclusive Practice
Cabinet Office
1:35 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
1:45 pm
Driving Change – Creating Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces
Solat Chaudry
Solat Chaudry
Chief Executive
National Centre for Diversity
2:15 pm
Stonewall Update: Learning How Best to Ensure The Public Sector Delivers LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces
  • Highlighting the power of having a truly inclusive workplace which fully unlocks the potential of your employees
  • Sharing how you can become a Stonewall Champion to help drive better individual, business and organisational outcomes
  • Exploring the Top 100 Employers List and how together with the LGBT Workplace Equality Index it can help organisations asses their progress
  • Understanding how to recognise the benefits of the experiences and perspectives that an inclusive workforce provides for the organisation, all employees and wider community
Cake Bennet
Cake Bennet
Client Account Manager – Public and Third Sector
2:35 pm
Interactive Questions and Answers Session
2:45 pm
Afternoon Networking Break and Refreshments
3:05 pm
Insights into The Pensions Regulator’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

The Pension Regulator’s Chief Executive Charles Counsell will:

    • Explore the bold new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy introduced by the The Pension’s Regulator, which places users at the heart
    • Share the key focuses of the roadmap, which is intended to ensure TPR is a fair, diverse and inclusive employer
    • Reflect on how TPR recognised that it was essential to build a collective understanding of why pensions inequalities occur and work in partnership with others seeking to reduce them
    • Offer examples of how TPR look to promote higher standards of equality, diversity and inclusion among their regulated community, sharing tips and guidance on how this can be replicated in your own organisation
Charles Counsell
Charles Counsell
Chief Executive
The Pension's Regulator
3:50 pm
Chair's Closing Address
Khadija Mohammed
Khadija Mohammed
Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Social Sciences
University of the West of Scotland


This conference is specifically designed for local authorities and central government sector but it is also open to the wider public, voluntary and private sectors to encourage debate and networking.

  • Heads of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Inclusion and Diversity Managers
  • Heads of HR
  • Heads of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
  • HR Managers
  • Chief People Officers
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Directors of People
  • Heads of Employee Engagement
  • Talent Managers


  • Voluntary Sector Rate (Large Charities - Over £1m Income)
    £325 + VAT
  • Voluntary Sector Rate (Small Charities- Under £1m Income)
    £275 + VAT
  • Public Sector Rate (Local & Central Gov/ Housing/ NHS)
    £395 + VAT
  • Private Sector Rate
    £595 + VAT