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New council commitment to diversity

Milton Keynes Council believes it is becoming one of the first UK councils to add tackling workplace discrimination to a formal corporate risk register, as part of its ongoing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

A risk register is how an organisation checks and makes plans to avoid what might otherwise stand in the way of it achieving its priorities. Taking a step further than other councils by adding discrimination to its formal risks shows how seriously Milton Keynes Council values its work to further develop a positive, inclusive workplace culture.

Among other activity, the council has recently completed the search for ‘diversity champions’ who will champion change from within, help colleagues speak up, and challenge stereotypes. It wants all employees to recognise the realities and experiences of people with different backgrounds and characteristics than them.

For the council, having the right culture that’s free from discrimination can make all the difference in attracting and keeping talented people and making new staff feel welcome and valued.

It’s also encouraging managers recruiting to new roles to understand and act on the need for positive action to help the council become more representative of the MK community it serves. For instance, the council employs fewer people with disabilities compared to the wider population, although this is slowly improving. Looking at other protected characteristics such as ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation the council’s workforce is becoming more representative or above average.

Milton Keynes Council Chief Executive Michael Bracey said: “I am pleased to be putting forward this addition to our risk register as it reflects our determination to be a good, inclusive place to work for our 2,300 colleagues.”

The new anti-discrimination risk will be considered by the council’s Audit Committee on 30 June.