Lord Patel of Blackburn – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Patel of Blackburn on 2014-06-04.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the proportion of Muslims in senior positions in British diplomatic missions abroad.

Baroness Warsi

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion for all its employees. The FCO’s management information system shows that, out of the 246 Senior Management positions overseas, 80 members of staff have declared their religion. Of these, three are Muslim, which corresponds to 3.75% of those who declared and 1.22% of the overall total.

All FCO UK based staff are asked to provide diversity information about their ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation and religion or belief. Supplying this data is voluntary. The FCO is working to improve diversity declaration rates by staff, including for religion and belief, and as part of this effort a three month campaign titled “Why Should I Tell You” was run between November 2013 and January 2014 to encourage staff to provide their diversity information. Over this period declaration rates for religion and belief increased from 31 to 35%.

The FCO launched the Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) Campaign in Summer 2013 aimed at the recruitment, progression and development of BME staff. The campaign aims to improve young people’s understanding of the organisation and to encourage more applications to our fast stream, particularly from BME communities. It also includes a leadership programme for high performing BME staff to prepare them for senior management and other targeted career development courses, mentoring and coaching. The initial results have been very encouraging.

The FCO publishes an annual Equality Report which provides information about the diversity and makeup of our staff, as required by the Equality Act 2010. The 2014 report can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/diversity-and-equality-report-2014.