Pioneering psychologists boost diversity in Government

  • Date

    Fri 28 Jan 22

Dr Marie Juanchich

Diversity will be boosted in the heart of Government due to the pioneering work of University of Essex psychologists.

Now officials will work to ensure recruits from diverse backgrounds will get the best chance of securing a job in Whitehall and shape policy that affects all our lives.

The Department of Psychology’s Dr Marie Juanchich and Daniel Jolles were consulted by civil servants to boost candidates from different backgrounds.

Following this consultation, changes have been implemented and a trial is now underway with the Open Innovation Team which will see Essex research guide hiring procedures.

The Department for Education-based team draws in experts from outside the public sector to help officials solve policy problems and frequently contact academics and other experts to inform decisions.

Dr Juanchich said: “The Open Innovation Team faces the same challenge as many other public or private organisations - providing equal opportunities and attracting the best talents.

“Attracting a more diverse pool of applicants and following an inclusive selection process helps on both accounts.

“The civil service has a lot to offer, especially a team that has clear inclusion and diversity values, so it was a pleasure to collaborate with the Open Innovation Team.”

It is hoped their work will encourage groups that have historically been under-represented in the Civil Service to apply for roles.

This includes disabled applicants, and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic or lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Their work was praised by the Open Innovation Team.

A spokesman said: “Dr Juanchich and her colleagues provided invaluable help talking through our ideas and proposals with us and helping us navigate potential pitfalls based on research findings.

“We're hoping this will increase the range of great talent we reach with our recruitment campaigns, and builds on the work the wider Civil Service is already doing to boost diversity and improve on fair selection across government.”