You are here: Home > About Defra > About us > How we work > Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

In Defra and all our Executive Agengies, we recognise there is a strong moral and business case for ensuring that our services, our policies and how we support, develop and manage our employees embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity. It is widely recognised that diversity is good for business:

  • Organisations perform better when their boards are more diverse.
  • Greater diversity brings different perspectives to problems and improved decision making.
  • Our employees perform better when they are able to be themselves in the workplace.

Our diversity is our strength, helping Defra to deliver positive outcomes for our customers and be a good place to work for all our employees. There is also a strong legal imperative for building diversity into everything we do.

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010, Defra, as a public body, has a specific duty to show how it will eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between groups of people regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or marriage and civil partnership status.

We all have a part to play in contributing to an inclusive society. A diverse workforce means we are better informed to meet the needs of our customers. This will make a real difference, both to the customers we serve and to our employees.

Defra aims to ensure that equality and diversity objectives are not separate from our main business, but are aligned to our Business and People Plans where possible. Whilst the legislation states that our objectives can last up to four years, Defra is committed to reviewing these objectives regularly, monitoring our performance against them and updating them as necessary to ensure they are relevant and meet changing business and customer needs.

Annual workforce monitoring reports for diversity

The Equality Act 2010 places an obligation on all public bodies to make available equality data relating to their employees and the impact of their policies and processes on identified protected groups. The annual workforce monitoring report examines the diversity of our workforce and provides evidence of how we achieve our aim of offering real equality of opportunity to all our employees. The report provides a snapshot of the extent to which we have met that aim, and provides a benchmark against which to measure progress in the future.

Diversity organisations’ membership and staff networks in Defra

Defra is proud to be a member of a number of diversity organisations that encourage an inclusive culture for all. Membership of the following organisations provides access to an excellent resource that helps us develop our diversity plans with concrete actions:

Staff networks

Defra has staff networks that contribute towards our diversity goals. These networks are listed below:

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T)
  • Disability (DisNet)
  • Ethnic minority
  • Work-life balance

They are supported by the Diversity and Inclusion team and have the backing of Bronwyn Hill, our Permanent Secretary and Diversity Champion.

Contacts for diversity and inclusion in Defra

Diversity and Inclusion Team
Nobel House
17 Smith Square


Page last modified: 31 January 2013