The ICO is committed to promoting and enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion. We are focused on developing a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve and building an inclusive workplace where all of our colleagues have the opportunity to make a difference.
We are championing this through our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Board together with staff networks.
Everyone at the ICO will be welcome to join any of the networks – the groups are fully inclusive and encourage anyone to join who wants to learn more and support their friends and colleagues.
The Healthy Minds Staff Network is a group of colleagues committed to raising awareness of and challenging the perceived social stigma linked to mental and emotional health issues such as stress, depression or anxiety.
We work with the ICO to develop strategies focused on good mental and emotional health and to educate staff and managers about these issues. Working closely with staff responsible for the ICO’s Wellbeing Plan, we aim to provide support to colleagues to look after themselves, stay well and manage their mental health.
The Pride Staff Network is an inclusive and open group of professional colleagues. The group is underpinned by a shared commitment to the values of informed engagement, positive representation, and the treatment of individuals and groups with dignity and respect. We welcome allies, celebrate the diversity of our membership, and we are proud of our histories and cultures.
The aims of the Network are to:
- promote positive attitudes towards LGBT+ members of the community and raise awareness of LGBT+ equality;
- bring together LGBT+ staff in a supportive environment to network, share experiences, and offer support and information;
- give a voice to the ICO LGBT+ community, enabling dialogue with colleagues across the ICO;
- contribute, as appropriate, to ICO policy development and review by providing structured and informed feedback; and
- liaise both internally and externally with key groups and individuals to support the aims of the Network.
The aims of the Women and Allies Network are to:
- increase awareness of women’s issues;
- increase the number of women at the ICO applying for promotions, pay progression and development opportunities; and
- contribute to the development of ICO services, resources, policies and organisation wide objectives to create a better work place for all.
We hold events throughout the year to support our network’s members and objectives. We seek feedback from our wider network to ensure that the work of the committee reflects the interests of the network.
REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) aims to educate and raise awareness of any issues affecting members of staff represented by the network.
The aims of the Network are to:
- support staff by providing a forum for Ethnic Minority Background staff to network and discuss issues of specific interest;
- celebrate key dates in the race equality and cultural diversity calendar, recognising the contributions and achievements of Ethnic Minority Background people throughout local, national and world history;
- act as a collective voice for Ethnic Minority Background staff; and
- aim to inspire confidence in ICO colleagues in order to progress in the hope for a more representative organisation.
The network also hopes to challenge negative images and opinions that might appear in the media. This will include raising awareness of and supporting anti-racism initiatives, as well as influencing positive changes in workplace policies.
The Access and Inclusion Network group will aim to improve the experience of disabled staff at the ICO by:
- raising awareness of disability issues across the office;
- providing a supportive peer group to other disabled people across the office;
- promoting the social model of disability as a positive way to talk about and think about disability;
- helping to review the ICO’s policies and procedures to bring them up to date with current equality legislation;
- promoting ‘accessibility by design’ in the same way the ICO promotes ‘privacy by design’ – making things accessible is much easier if you include accessibility at the start of the process; and
- embedding disability equality into our processes rather than adding it as a ‘tick box’ at the end.
The group also hopes to understand how individuals working at the ICO are affected by an impairment or disability, and help colleagues feel confident that a disability or impairment will not stop them from progressing in the workplace.