Shared Intelligence was commissioned by Solace, the Local Government Association and the University of Birmingham (INLOGOV) to develop an understanding of how to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the local government workforce. The research focused on upper tier council workforce data, and good practice for improving EDI in relation to ethnicity and race, within councils.
Workforce diversity is fundamental in an organisation which delivers services that meet the needs of the population. A diverse workforce increases the potential for a greater breadth of ideas and processes, a broader range of skills and experiences, and a wider range of perspectives and viewpoints within an organisation. As greater pressures are put on local services and authorities to tackle inequalities and disparities experienced by communities, it has become ever more important to ensure the workforce of local services reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
We completed desk research and data collection on the workforce profile of England’s 152 top tier local authorities to produce a complete data model which we complemented with deep dives to understand the journey taken by five councils. Out of 152 upper tier councils, 86 had published a detailed report on EDI, 54 published basic information on their websites or reports, and 12 had no information available.
This work highlighted the importance of data transparency for making progress on workforce diversity. This work also helped us to develop an understanding of the common best practice. This included having clear governance with demonstrable ownership and leadership, consistent and complete data built from a deep understanding of place demographics and dynamics, and involvement from stakeholders including staff, suppliers and local community leaders.