At that meeting the programme board stated its three key objectives as:
• To provide strong leadership and a commitment to this agenda and seek to influence the wider public and private sectors to improve the representation of women and other under-represented groups in public life more generally.
• To make Ministerial public appointments more diverse reflecting broadly the general population by 2017.
• For the Scottish Government workforce to be broadly reflective of the Scottish population by 2025.
During the course of the day, those attended were asked to identify action required to increase diversity on boards and then from 16 identified, they were then asked to prioritise three actions which are:
1. All existing public boards to develop action plans on diversity and report in an annual report
2. Keep good candidates in the system – establish a pre-qualified pool
3. Training in unconscious bias, equality and diversity in recruitment process for everyone involved
At the event it was clear that there is a strong motivation for change in this area and within a realistic timescale. However the Scottish Government is clear that it wants to take stakeholders with it and benefit from the considerable experience and expertise available. For that reason it wants to ensure that stakeholders continue to be involved and input to the Programme Board’s work and will provide opportunities for this to happen on an ongoing basis.
We want the momentum that was established at the Women on Board event to help drive forward the pace of change. An important part of this is about ensuring that we can engage constructively with stakeholders so that the policy can benefit from the wide range of experiences and expertise that people like you bring. Throughout the life of the Programme we want to ensure that stakeholders are an integral part of establishing the most effective interventions and advising the Programme Board in a flexible and meaningful way. Opportunities for involvement will be provided throughout the Programme.
As this work develops we will keep our readers updated on progress being achieved.