Progress updates

Within the Southwark Stands Together workforce stream, we have nine recommendations. We will be working jointly with a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) consultant to put them into action.

We aim to provide monthly updates on our progress towards each recommendation.

October 2021

We wanted to share a progress update on some of the Southwark Stands Together recommendations for our workforce that we have begun to implement to help tackle racism, inequality, and injustice. We thank you for your continued input and feedback. Working together, we can create the change we want to see.

If you have missed any of the recent Southwark Stands Together communications, you can catch-up by visiting the SST Source communications page. Employees without access to the Southwark Council network can visit the Southwark Stands Together microsite.

Engagement and re-education

Over the last month, we have so far briefed over 200 colleagues as part of our Positive Action Lunch and Learn sessions, which were open to all employees and have been so well received.

Staff Focus Groups on descriptive (inclusive) language are now up and running with our SST champions engaging colleagues in all areas of the organisation.

A new Ally Network has been set up and along with the Leadership Network, will begin piloting Bystander Intervention training. Bystander Intervention is a practical anti-harassment and inclusion training that helps participants know how to intervene when witnessing harmful behaviour in the workplace.

Leadership and management

Earlier in the month, an engagement workshop in relation to the coaching and mentoring programme took place to engage our SST Champions and ensure that they could feed into and shape the programme.

Corporate training programme

Good progress has been made in identifying new course requirements for council wide Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) learning that is effective and will deliver lasting impact.

In March this year, we launched the Black on Board programme, which was focused on providing governance training and aimed at addressing underrepresentation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff at board level. As part of Black History Month, we were shining a light on five Black on Board participants. If you missed the articles then you can read them in the previous PDFs.

Policy and practices

The Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) statement (available on The Source). The Workforce EDI statement sets out Southwark Council’s ambition for tackling inequalities and promoting equality in our workforce and within our communities. It reaffirms the council’s commitment to promote strategies that enable the shift to become an inclusive organisation that stands against all forms of discrimination. This statement applies to all council employees; contractors; consultants and any other third parties who carry out work on behalf of the council.

Engagement sessions with colleagues will be taking place to share the key headlines from the workforce EDI statement, with a focus around:

1. Protected characteristics as part of the Equality Act 2010
2. Our 2 new organisational values
3. Our EDI pledges

The engagement sessions will start next month. Anyone can attend and there will be a Q&A section at the end. Please save the date and time and use the relevant meeting link to join the event.

Monday 6 December 2021 at 11am to 12 noon

 Join the meeting

Tuesday 11 January 2022 at 3pm to 4pm

Join the meeting

Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 11am to 12 noon

Join the meeting

Employee career progression

Work is underway to analyse our employment data to identify suitable areas for positive action. Our strategic human resources business partners are working with their management teams to identify recruitment pipelines and areas that could benefit from positive action. Managers have been attending positive action sessions across the council for a better understanding of what it entails.

Black History Month

Throughout October we celebrated Black History Month with a range of events and articles. Our theme for this year was to “inspire, educate and promote” a positive culture. The overall aim was to ensure that the events had a positive impact on colleagues by sharing lived experiences and providing valuable as well as practical information. In total, over 350 colleagues engaged and participated in the different sessions. Further events will be taking place beyond Black History Month, as we continue to celebrate diversity and inclusion throughout the year.

Annual Workforce report

The Annual Workforce report went to the Cabinet on 19 October. The report demonstrates the council’s commitment to openly sharing our data and the actions we will take to address areas of disparity as part of our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, and the public sector equality duty.

The Annual Workforce report identifies that we have greater representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees in grades 1-12, and lower representation at grades 14+ (above £50k per annum) at 26% compared to White employees. We are seeking to address this disparity through the work we are doing on our Southwark Stands Together (SST) programme, particularly within the workforce workstream. This includes taking positive action to address under-representation at senior management level. We have a number of additional actions to address racial inequality and these are covered in the Workforce Equality Action Plan, which also forms part of the report.

Let us know what you think

We do not have all the answers and always welcome the input and insight of our employees. If you have not had the chance to engage with our most recent activities, you can still share your feedback about Southwark Stands Together using the anonymous SST form.

Page last updated: 19 November 2021


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