Avon and Somerset Police picked up the award for best ‘Representative Workforce’ at the enei (Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion) Awards 2019, held at a ceremony in London in July. The awards recognised the commitment of organisations achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces and celebrated the teams and individuals that are making a difference. Winners were selected from a panel of esteemed judges who reviewed entries across 22 categories to identify individuals and organisations committed to creating diverse workplaces.
We were awarded for the success of our Diversity Champion Programme, launched by the Inclusion and Diversity Team in September 2017, a voluntary role for internal staff to mentor external candidates from under-represented groups including; BAME, LGBT+, disabled, female and neurodiverse candidates. The programme was launched as part of our overall positive action strategy and is designed to help possible candidates navigate the different elements of our recruitment process. It forms part of an ambition to attract and recruit a talented workforce that is both representative and understanding of communities we serve.
Since the launch of the initiative, the number of BAME employees increased by 0.5% to 2.9%, LGBT+ employees increased by 0.35% to 3.7% and the number of employees declaring a disability increased by 1.30% to 6.3%.
Key players responsible for the introduction of the programme include: Esther Wride; Inclusion and Diversity Team Lead, Kris Harris; Inclusion and Diversity Officer, responsible for the development and implementation of the programme, and Amelia Griffiths; Leadership Development Trainer, responsible for the development and implementation of the mentoring / unconscious bias workshops.
We currently have 65 Diversity Champions, 46% are female and 25% from a BAME background that play a key part in the Constabulary’s aim to diversify its workforce. Diversity Champions receive additional mentoring and recruitment training, support the Avon and Somerset Police’s Recruitment Discovery Workshops, as well as the Pre-Application and Pre-Assessment Centre workshops.