Our work at RedQuadrant on equality, diversity, and inclusion

02 July 2020

We are committed to change and transformation within public services. In the last twelve months, we have again been working directly on projects that relate to equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I). We believe this is a critical area that is often overlooked. Through our work in this area, we aim to directly combat discrimination in public services by doing what we do - bringing together teams of experienced people to bring change about in public services - in this instance, people with the much-needed subject matter expertise in ED&I with wide and deep experience in ED&I in public services and the private sector. We are passionate about change and keen to constructively challenge and stretch our clients.

Some of our existing work includes:

  • Diversity Impact Assessment for Civil Service assessment centre - focused on eliminating unconscious bias and applying good practice
  • Development of a diversity and inclusion strategy - UK regulator
  • Development of an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy - arms length body
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion input to Covid-19 economic recovery strategy and further ED&I support - local enterprise partnership
  • Design and delivery of "Leadership in Diversity" training - police force

The types of projects we hope to do more of are:

  • Covid recovery: Covid has affected different groups of people in different ways and has laid bare some stark inequalities in our society. With many organisations thinking about their recovery plans how do they ensure that ED&I is built into the future
  • Evaluation of impact of EDI interventions and undertaking EDI organisational audits
  • Governance review - ED&I is often left to individuals - we believe explicit leadership and accountability from the top of the organisation is needed to make real change happen
  • Strategy and action plan development - strategies don't make change happen on their own, but the engagement process (focus groups, questionnaires, interviews) we use throughout the development process prepares the organisation for what is needed - then the strategy document, focusing on actionable changes gives structure and approach to the required changes
  • Equality or diversity impact assessment - this could be of a recruitment process such as an assessment centre or service delivery - we use quantitative and qualitative data to understand the potential barriers for particular groups and the disparate impact of these activities - we then provide specific recommendations to minimise disparate impact
  • Legislative review - reviewing process and documentation to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and where relevant, the Public Sector Equality Duty
  • Embedding real change through implementation support and coaching and mentoring from ED&I subject matter experts
  • Inclusive leadership programmes - design and delivery of impactful inclusive leadership programmes - focused on genuine engagement and challenge for leaders, rather than tokenistic understanding
  • Positive action programmes especially for BAME staff and their managers - we believe these programmes can make a real step change when delivered effectively within a wider context of organisational change

Our broad consultant base which includes former heads of equality, diversity, and inclusion and public service managers, policy experts, chartered psychologists and academics with specialisms in race and ethnicity, disability and gender mean we can put together an appropriate team quickly.

We are also working on our own equality, diversity and inclusion. We believe that diversity brings real innovation and that we are best placed to work with public service organisations by having a consultant base that reflects the diversity of the UK population. Earlier this year, as part of the wider piece of work to consider our own equality, diversity and inclusion approach, we updated our diversity monitoring. We asked all employed staff and consultants that we have worked with in the last twelve months to respond. We are pleased that the diversity of our consultant base and employees has been broadening - for 2020, our people responding identify as:

  • 85% white, 14% BAME, 1% prefer not to say
  • 58% female, 38% male, 1% non-binary, 3% prefer not to say

We know that we have more to do as an organisation to ensure that we are fully inclusive. We held a session with our leadership team earlier this year, facilitated by one of our ED&I specialist consultants - Munira Thobani, supported by Janice Prentice who project manages our client ED&I projects. A number of actions came out of that session. We are looking to make real progress in the following areas and are developing an action plan to do so:

  • increasing the diversity of our consultant pool - in particular we have identified that we have under-representation of BAME consultants
  • highlighting the diversity among the core team and consultants 
  • elevating ED&I to be one of the areas that is always considered in the work we do - especially by ensuring our clients are considering impacts across all of their customers
  • reviewing our core methods to ensure that we fully incorporate ED&I in all our work with clients

If you want to discuss any kind of equality, diversity and inclusion work with us, please speak to Frank Curran, our Head of Consulting who oversees all of our ED&I projects, in the first instance - frank.curran@redquadrant.com, 0757515875381

A word from our managing partner, Benjamin Taylor:

'We believe that diversity brings real innovation and value, and that basic justice and real human liberation benefits us all and we're committed to Black Lives Matter and to social and environmental justice. I know I, for one, have frequently fallen short of fully upholding this commitment, and that with multiple layers of privilege, I can never see things through the eyes of those who’ve been subject to, or risk, assaults, discrimination, who suffered through Windrush, who suffer from the conditions that mean that black people in this country are four times as likely to die of Covid-19 as white people, who suffer from the systems that allowed Grenfell to happen. Or who simply see others who look like them in those positions – discriminated against or excluded – and cannot escape having a full understanding of the systemic and structural racism in our country – reflected in our organisations, systems and culture. But we are all diminished by these acts, these systems, and these beliefs and mindsets, and we all have a duty to be part of the necessary change.

'We have been working to improve and transform public services since 2009, and I'm very proud we can 'do what we do' in this area, and we know that there is more work to do to improve our own approach to diversity and inclusion, especially working with more BAME consultants, and generally to build more diversity into our consultant base. So, we are on a journey ourselves, and, I hope, helping others to move forward on this journey too.'