On-going commitments to support inclusivity among council staff and tackle discrimination in the workplace have been set out by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Council leader Councillor Kevin Guy, Council chief executive Will Godfrey and our Staff Network Group chairs signed an Inclusive Leadership Pledge, which is now being rolled out across the organisation.

The aim is to build on the council’s core values and behaviours which the council has adopted alongside its purpose to improve people’s lives.

The pledge commits leaders to help break down barriers in communities, ensure elimination of discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relationships between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of the council, said: “The council is committed to showing leadership and organisational commitment to equality and employing a diverse and engaged workforce. They are fundamental objectives and are set out in the  Equality Improvement Plan which I whole heartedly support.” 

Will Godfrey said: “We value all our staff. They work hard to serve all our Bath & North East Somerset residents.  But we recognise that all organisations need to do more to develop, listen to, and act on the widest possible range of diverse voices. This pledge actively encourages an environment where people can collaborate and help shape the future of the council and the diverse communities it represents and serves.”

The authority has four Staff Network and Development Groups representing Minority Ethnic staff, Access & Inclusion (Disabled Staff), LGBTQ+ staff, Women’s Careers (for staff who identify as female). These groups help identify, promote and support role models and act as champions of inclusivity. There is representation from these groups offering support to the council’s Corporate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group by providing direct, honest and open feedback and healthy challenge to the senior leadership team.

The Staff Network Group Chairs won a Bath & North East Somerset Council Staff Recognition award for their work championing inclusivity and ensuring colleagues learn together in a positive and collaborative way.

The Staff Network Group Chairs representatives said: “Chairs of the Staff Network Groups ensure that colleagues across the council learn together in a positive and collaborative way. We are a strong employee voice, encouraging and supporting others to be heard for the benefit not just of staff but for the services the council delivers to residents. We welcome this pledge as another step the council has taken to champion inclusivity.”

Earlier this year the council shared a snapshot of pay across the authority and widened the scope to show both the gender and ethnicity pay gap. You can find more about it on the council’s newsroom.