The National Audit Office (NAO) has a strong reputation for the independence, professionalism and credibility of our work, a reputation earned by the combined effort of the people we employ. We are an organisation with an important and far-reaching mission to secure improvements in the way public services are delivered.
At a time of austerity, when we are striving for continued improvement in client value, we will only succeed if we draw our talent from the widest possible pool and then continually develop the skills and capability of all our people. Our diversity strategy is key to helping us achieve this.
This is the third annual report against our three-year diversity strategy 2012 to 2015. There are a number of significant achievements to celebrate. In terms of ethnicity and disability, progress has been made in addressing the differences in appraisal ratings. We have continued to recruit a diverse intake of graduates, 40% female and 27% black and minority ethnic (BAME). Our placement of 82nd in the Stonewall Top 100 Workplace Equality Index showed external recognition for our work on promoting a better working environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. We have also launched a significant training programme focused on developing inclusive behaviours and building an inclusive culture.
We have also faced some real challenges in progressing our diversity and inclusion agenda over the past few years, particularly in retaining and promoting women and BAME colleagues at senior levels, despite a range of initiatives designed to address this issue. We are committed to improving the diversity of our workforce at all levels in the NAO and we will therefore continue to focus on this issue in our new Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
The new Diversity and Inclusion strategy centres on improving the diversity of our talent pipeline and building an inclusive work environment based on fairness, recognising that it is important for everyone to feel valued and able to contribute, irrespective of their background.
We are determined to make the NAO a more diverse and inclusive organisation. I personally have taken on the role of Champion for diversity and inclusion and chair of the Diversity Delivery Board, which provides strategic support and constructive challenge regarding the NAO’s diversity programme.
Our Board and Leadership Team attach a high priority to making progress against our diversity and inclusion strategy and will be ensuring that progress is made and actions remain relevant.
This report summarises our progress over the third year of the 2012–2015 strategy. As part of our commitment to the Public Sector Equality Duty we also publish equality data in our separate ‘Equality Information’ report.
Comptroller and Auditor General
Report published 24 June 2015