Leadership project aims to improve diversity in Scottish civil service

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The Scottish government is set to invest £470,000 in a new leadership and development programme to ramp up diversity in its workforce.

By U2B Staff 

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Equity, diversity, and inclusion are some of the most important elements of healthy workplace culture. A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation.

When businesses unlock access, reduce barriers, and intentionally create strategies to engage disadvantaged or underrepresented populations, they create an environment of success and enhance excellence.

However, the disparity is clear: A study by Lean-In and McKinsey found that men and women of colour make up significantly less of the corporate pipeline at every level, compared to their white male and female counterparts.


The report found that white males made up 45% of managers and white females made up 27%. There is a stark contrast with the number of males of colour, who made up 17% of managers while and females of colour only made up 12% of managers.

These findings suggest that companies with above-average diversity on their leadership teams, in both developing and developed economies, report a greater payoff from innovation and higher income margins.

Diversity and inclusion are important elements in healthy workplace culture and every manager or leader in an organisation needs to understand its importance, and actively implement diversity policies in the workplace.

The Scottish government is set to invest £470,000 in new leadership and development programme to ramp up minority representation in leadership functions as well as increasing diversity and representation in public life.


This timely intervention aims to address the severe lack of minority representation in leadership roles in the civil service.

Research published by Labour MSP Anas Sarwar revealed that despite 4% of Scotland’s population being part of an ethnic minority group, there are only 10 civil servants who are from this group at the most senior level.

The research also found that only 1.8% of the civil service is represented by individuals from black, Asian, and other ethnic minority groups, indicating a clear lack of representation.

Additionally, other reports indicate that less than 1% of non-white employees make up council staff in 21 local authority areas.

The lack of diversity in the Scottish police force is equally alarming, with only 1% of officers identifying as blacks, Asians, or other ethnic minorities.

This new project will be based at the University of Glasgow’s John Smith Centre and will focus on developing leadership opportunities for Blacks, Asians, and other minority ethnic groups.

This project aims to break down the barriers that prevent minority groups from succeeding in the workplace. It also aims to ensure that “workplaces share the diversity of the communities they represent”.


This project will include a nine-month professional and personal development programme, which includes internships and mentorship opportunities for 50 individuals from black and other minority groups.

The new leadership programme is just one of the initiatives the university is part of that aims to create equal opportunity.

Additionally, the university has launched the James McCune Smith scholarships for African and African Caribbean undergraduate students and a successful partnership has been forged with the University of the West Indies resulting in the formation of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research.