The Race Equality Award: The Home Office

Finalist for Business in the Community's Race Equality Award 2019

Award Type: 

The Home Office: Building better pathways for BAME employees to reach senior positions 

While the Home Office is the most ethnically diverse of all government departments, it is not reflected at all pay grades within the organisation – especially at the most senior levels or outside of London. 

The three-year Home Office Race Action Plan has been established to do something about that. By 2020, the organisation wants to be the ‘employer of choice’ within the civil service, where all its people, regardless of their ethnicity, can succeed and fulfil their potential. 

First, it will try to build better black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation at all grades – from 7% to 12% BAME in senior roles by 2025.  

Central to this is ensuring BAME staff have access to opportunities to develop in their careers, promoting the Home Office brand as a “great place to work” to BAME communities, and creating a pool of more visible senior BAME leaders that points to a diverse workforce. 

The plan is working. The latest internal staff survey shows that inclusion and fair treatment of staff scores have improved – from 68% in 2016, to 72% in 2018 – and the engagement index jumped from 53% in 2016, to 56% in 2018. 

The organisation has appointed its first ever BAME director general and it now has the highest number of BAME senior civil servants, at 8%1. This includes the first BAME principle private secretary, a very high-profile role. This success has been underpinned by the training of 20 BAME independent panel members to sit on the interview panels when filling senior positions. 


  1. Cabinet Office, Civil Service workforce, 2 October 2018. Available at

Unless otherwise stated, the information in this impact story has been supplied by The Home Office.