Diversity Strategy 2015 – 2018

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At the House of Commons we aim to provide a positive, inclusive working environment where people are valued for the skills and experience that they bring to work. Our aim is to be representative of the society we serve. This means making parliament more accessible, diverse and free from discrimination.

About the strategy

A new three-year strategy, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2015-2018, has been agreed to take forward the House’s work on diversity and inclusion. It focuses on six priority areas, aiming to build on what has been achieved to date.

The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Strategy aligns to the Corporate Plan for the House to provide a ‘modern, efficient and responsive’ service for Members and the public by:

  1. Making the House of Commons more effective;
  2. Making the House Service more efficient;
  3. Ensuring that Members, staff and the public are well-informed;
  4. Working at every level to earn respect for the House of Commons.

The scheme has been endorsed by the House of Commons Commission and the Executive Committee, and is supported by our trade unions. An accompanying action plan is being developed through the consultation process and links with current and planned work at corporate and departmental levels. It builds on many current initiatives, as well as introducing new ways to improve as an employer and service provider. 

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Find out more about Diversity & Inclusion at the House of Commons

Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI)

As part of its commitment to being an inclusive organisation, the House of Commons participates in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, an effective way to measure efforts to tackle discrimination and create an inclusive workplace for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees. In 2017 the House of Commons rose 88 places in the Index to rank 28th out of over 400 participating employers.

Parliament at Pride

The Houses of Parliament are also delighted to be taking part in the Pride in London Parade for the fifth year. This is an annual event for London’s LGBT+ people and a chance to be visible and speak loudly about what they have achieved and what is still needed. As well as promoting Parliament as an inclusive employer that is proud to support its LGBTIQ staff, London Pride is a great way to raise awareness of Parliament as a democratic institution that everyone can get involved with and make themselves heard. This year the ParliOUT membership raised the necessary money to purchase a rainbow flag to be gifted to Parliament so that this year, the flag could be flown above Portcullis House.

Workplace Equality Networks (WENs)

The House of Commons and House of Lords have established Workplace Equality Networks (WENs) to provide an opportunity for groups of people to discuss and consider issues relevant to their situation or of interest to them. In particular, WENs can be useful forums for groups protected by equality legislation. WENs are open to all pass holders in the Commons, Lords, Parliamentary Digital Service, contractors employed by Parliament, MPs, Lords and their staff. Membership is not restricted to people who share a protected characteristic relating to these WENs but those involved are required to respect the aims of the Networks.

Workplace Equality Networks are run by an elected committee, which includes an appointed Chair and a Treasurer. The Diversity and Inclusion teams of each House allocate every WEN a small annual budget of £6,000 (paid for by the House of Commons and the House of Lords). Funds must be spent on activities which directly support the objectives of the WEN, such as educational events or awareness raising, and all spending must be approved by the committee in question.

Parliamentary Role Models

The Parliamentary Role Models campaign that recognises the importance of a working environment where people are valued for who they are and how they contribute to making Parliament a positive, inclusive workplace environment and institution.

Further information

Diversity Monitoring reports:

External partners

The National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award

The House of Commons has been awarded The National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award, which champions premises who commit to making sure that autistic visitors receive the same warm welcome as everybody else.

The House of Commons has been placed 28th in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2017, and ranked 4th within the Government sector.

The programme is Britain's good practice employers' forum on sexual orientation. We work with Stonewall to help make your workplace the best it can be.

The House of Commons participates in the Business Disability Forum's ‘Disability Standard’ a tool to help business to measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders.

The House of Commons is a member of Inclusive Employers, the UK's first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.