Civil Service Live

As salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah everyone.

I was very pleased (not to mention nervous) to co-present a section entitled “Diversifying the Civil Service” at Civil Service Live back in April. Apolgies that I’m only just getting round to a writeup now! I presented with sidi Nazeer Afzal, London West director for the Crown Prosecution Service. Sidi Nazeer is also the leader of CPS’ honour crimes agenda and a prominent figure within the British Muslim community; it was an honour to speak alongside him.

We presented to a mixture of ‘ordinary’ civil servants, diversity representatives and senior civil servants on the experiences of Muslims in the civil service, based (for my part fo the presentation) on the responses to the 2006 members’ survey. Sidi Nazeer spoke from a much more personal perspective, discussing some of the more positive and the more negative experiences that brought him to where he is now. The response was certainly a positive one and we took some lively questions at the end. By and large my impression of diversity in the civil service as a change agenda is that our institutional framework accepts diversity as a pertinent issue, but isn’t yet sure how high to place it on a list of priorities or how to turn a concept like this into a lived reality in the way we work. If the CSIS is to play a role in this I think we need to establish ourselves as a party that celebrates the successes of the civil service so far, and I for one am convinced that it is one of the better employers out there for people of all walks of life, and also work collaboratively to improve in areas where change hasn’t yet bedded in or even been accepted in principle.

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