Diversity and Inclusion - Work For Scotland

Diversity and Inclusion

Why it matters to us

In Scottish Government, our vision is to be a world-leading, diverse employer where people can be themselves at work.

We are committed to building a workforce of people with a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.  We can only reap the value of our diversity with an inclusive environment, where people are valued for their individual uniqueness but also have a sense of belonging and a voice. That means a workforce that includes people of different age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, faith and beliefs. People who are trans, disabled, from minority ethnic backgrounds. People who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual or another sexual orientation. A workforce that is representative of the people of Scotland.

Inclusion is one of our core organisational values. Therefore, this journey – to be a world-leading diverse employer where people can be themselves at work –  is something our workforce are collectively behind. 

Why are we striving to become more representative of the public we serve?

  • It is the right thing to do – everyone should have a fair and equal opportunity to work in the service of Scotland and be a part of the structures and institutions that deliver for their communities
  • To deliver our best, most inclusive policies requires us to better reflect the makeup of Scottish society – supporting our internal and external vision to put people at the heart of what we do and be user and citizen centred, building more authentic relationships with a broader range of people
  • Diverse teams working effectively together deliver better results – we need our best talent to tackle the challenges Scotland faces and support Ministers make good decisions for the people of Scotland.
  • All of this fosters trust, and the more trust our workforce feels towards our organisation the more likely we all are to share our authentic selves – and thrive in our roles

How are we doing this?

By working hard to mainstream equality across all of our strategies policies and practices – you can read about our progress in our most recent Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report: 2021. It outlines the outcomes we are working towards in diversity, equality and inclusion. It not only refers to our aims in policy making and how they reflect our values and the people of Scotland but also how we can ensure that we as an employer are also meeting our requirements under the Public Sector Equality Duty and advancing equality in the workplace.

By developing specific action plans where needed, such as our Recruitment and retention plan for disabled people: 2019 which sets out how we are supporting more disabled people into work in Scottish Government and enabling existing disabled employees to thrive and succeed at work.

And through our Race recruitment and retention – an instigation for change: action plan with an explicitly antiracist approach at its heart, aiming to redistribute power and foster cultural change.

Start your journey with us today and bring your perspectives, insights and experiences to shape our work, as we continue building a truly diverse and representative workforce to deliver the best for the people of Scotland. We would particularly welcome applications from individuals from those groups currently under represented in our workforce. We strive to empower disabled people and will support throughout the application and selection process, and when taking up post. We also welcome applications from those who wish to work an alternative pattern, including those who would like to job share, and would be happy to discuss options with you.


As a Disability Confident employer, we ensure disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for a job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities at an interview.

In Scottish Government, we have adopted the social model of disability as our preferred approach. This challenges us to think of the barriers that stand in the way of disabled people, as opposed to focusing on their impairments. 

Workplace adjustments

We recognise that achieving disability equality may mean changing the way employment is structured and we have a duty to make reasonable adjustments. In Scottish Government, we call these workplace adjustments because we are committed to going further than legal compliance. We will make adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people and also where possible to support everyone, whether disabled or not, to perform at their best.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s In employment: Workplace adjustments provides further information and examples of some of the adjustments we can consider.

Disability Confident 

Scottish Government is a disability confident employer. This means all disabled applicants who claim a guaranteed interview and who meet the essential criteria will be invited to interview or further assessment.

Improving our data

Diversity monitoring

We ask you questions about your age, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion and belief and trans history. Sharing your data with us helps us understand where we’re doing well, and if we need to do things differently. We use it to identify if there is any evidence of unlawful discrimination in our processes, our decisions or our behaviours. If we find any such evidence, we then take action to change what we do and how we do it so no one is at a disadvantage. It also helps us to understand and meet needs and ensure that our services and information are accessible to all.

We understand that the data you provide is personal and sensitive and we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure it is held and handled according to data protection laws. What you provide is only accessible to a small number of senior resourcing employees and analysts. It is always anonymised before it is analysed and great care is taken when reporting it so no one can be identified. It is entirely your choice, and whatever you decide to do you can expect equality of opportunity and fairness at all stages of the recruitment process regardless of any irrelevant differences. But we need high levels of declaration and lots of data to make analysis meaningful. So we encourage you, if you’re comfortable, to share your diversity data with us.

Your data really makes a difference. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s website  has further information about why public authorities are required to gather, analyse and use equality information under the public sector equality duty; and what the Equality Act 2010 says about how this information should be used, including in respect of disability or health when applying for a job.