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Equity and Inclusion Scheme 2022-24

Equity and Inclusion Action Plan - Objective 3 (1)

Provide an accessible, diverse and inclusive working environment by improving the recruitment, retention, progression, development and overall experience of people employed by the WMCA, enabling the organisation to become an inclusive employer of choice where equality and equity informs our culture and behaviours.


Workforce diversity


We attract and appoint a wider pool of candidates reflecting regional diversity

Actions required

Review existing recruitment activities, processes and routes ensuring our practices do not inadvertently discriminate against candidates on the basis of a protected characteristic

More clearly define positive action in recruitment with a clear description of activities and outcomes

Publicise employment opportunities to under-represented/harder to reach groups in the region via specialist agencies such as Remploy, Career Transition Partnership and key charitable organisations (CPT) etc.

Liaise with Executive Recruitment agencies to support the delivery of our diverse leadership agenda

Promote and reinforce the social and business cases for increasing workforce diversity
by raising awareness across all levels of
staff through communication and training, e.g. unconscious bias training, regular conversations with HR business partners

Continue to recruit all vacancies at grade SP26 or below as an apprenticeship

Continue to use apprenticeship standards/ Levy for skills uplift for underrepresented groups – levy in supplier chain to support underrepresented groups

Deliver and evaluate structured work experience programmes also targeting harder to reach groups, such as care leavers, people with disabilities, veterans and NEETs.

Continue to provide guaranteed interview schemes for people with disabilities and veterans

Enhance our approach to reasonable adjustments by delivering an improved, consistent system with consolidated reporting of the adjustments made (recruitment and employment)

Rethink and review our interview methods approach in line with external best practice to ensure it is fit for purpose, inclusive and enables the organisation to recruit the best candidates for the job

Attain Gold Covenant status



Workforce diversity


We offer development opportunities to employees currently under-represented in the workforce and ensure they are supported to make the most of their skills and talents

Actions required

Pilot offering strategic leadership apprenticeships to employees currently under- represented at senior levels in the organisation

Deliver internal mentoring (and reverse mentoring) to support the diversity and inclusion agenda targeted at women and minority ethnic employees

Consider ways to further utilise the levy to offer development opportunities to employees under-represented in the workforce

Consider activity around career pathways and talent management to ensure people can progress

Introduce and roll out Career Pathways within the organisation to inform staff development and support equitable access to progression routes

The review and update our Job Evaluation Scheme to support the Career Pathways approach

Introduce a succession planning and talent management framework for the organisation that supports our diversity aspirations



Employee equality awareness, competence


Develop and improve staff equality and diversity skills, ensuring they are equality confident, competent and actively engaged in delivering the equality agenda

Actions required

Ensure all new starters complete the online equalities training at induction level and deliver an induction session with equalities and wellbeing at its core

Run regular equality campaigns on a range of issues covering all key protected characteristics and wider inclusion issues as part of a wider equality and inclusion engagement strategy (i.e. language, micro-aggressions)

Continue to deliver face-to-face equality and disability awareness training to all customer facing staff

Deliver ‘Unconscious Bias’ training to all managers with a focus on recruitment and raise wider awareness amongst employees

Embed key equality principles within the managers’ fundamentals programme

Develop a fit-for-purpose manager and employee Equalities and wellbeing portal to include support and guidance on a number of related topics (from recruitment, to wellbeing and development)

Develop and deliver annual calendar of inclusion events



Employee voice and accountability


Understand and improve staff experience and staff voice on equality issues and ensure they are accountable for the delivery of the equality agenda

Actions required

Launch and support staff-led diversity networks to give employees a voice and include in key engagement and consultation processes

Run regular pulse surveys to understand employee views on equality and inclusion and involve employees in decision making processes on areas of work that may affect them

Continue to engage with employees on the inclusion, and wellbeing agendas, also via the wellbeing and inclusion group

Ensure equalities and wellbeing are fully embedded within the newly developed individual performance management framework and better incorporate EDI principles within managers’ 1-2-1 guidance

Introduce senior leadership EDI objectives (linked to performance) to help ensure senior leaders have overall accountability for driving EDI into values and a willingness to tackle representation

Retain Leaders in Diversity Accreditation Retain Disability Confident Leader status



Supporting employee wellbeing and facilitating equitable outcomes


Employees feel supported , are treated fairly and positive mental health and wellbeing is championed across the organisation

Actions required

Improve our understanding of how mental health is managed across the organisation and introduce schemes/initiatives to help support employee mental health, resilience and wellbeing, including mental health awareness training delivery

Attain Silver Thrive at work accreditation

Embed wellbeing in the Managers’ Fundamentals work programme to enable managers to cultivate teams that foster wellbeing

Identify and raise awareness of prevalent lifestyle conditions and identify ways to support employees

Promote a culture that recognises the impact of being constantly connected, the value of downtime and the need for healthy sleeping patterns and consider innovative ways to stay connected within and across teams

Promote a culture of zero tolerance of bullying and harassment

Continue to promote existing benefits and support mechanisms (i.e. Employee Assistance programme)

Explore ways to enhance the WMCA staff benefits offer

Continue to run the Employer Supported Volunteering scheme and advertise opportunities on a regular basis

Create online Resilience and Stress Toolkits for managers and staff enabling them to access information when they want and need to, enabling them to be ‘better prepared to cope with life’s transitions.

Continue to promote existing resources (i.e. stress risk assessments)

Continue to deliver wellbeing webinars and develop resources on topics covering the five pillars of wellbeing, i.e. healthy lifestyle behaviours, personal resilience, musculoskeletal



Workforce data and transparency


To improve the quality of equality and diversity workforce data we collate and how we use it to address barriers to employment for groups under-represented in the workforce and make publicly available

Actions required

Continue to monitor workforce profile for each protected characteristic to identify gaps/ improvement needs and introduce a more detailed race breakdown. Report bi-annually and via the annual equalities review report

Continue to collect, analyse and monitor recruitment data on protected characteristics to identify gaps/improvement needs

Produce a biannual equal pay audit

Identify opportunities to promote and encourage employees to voluntarily disclose their diversity data to ensure our actions as an employer are evidence led and improvement focused.

Publish gender pay gap data on an annual basis and introduce race pay gap reporting

Externally communicate race and other diversity targets and steps taken to improve diversity, including outcomes

Analyse training and development data more consistently to ensure development opportunities are accessed widely