Government Economic Service (UK)

Diversity and Inclusion Audit

Government Economic Service (GES)

The Government Economic Service (GES) is the professional body for economists in the UK Civil Service.

Business challenge

The GES partnered with IDC to conduct a diversity and inclusion (D&I) audit. Recognising the lack of diversity in the field of economics and inadequate internal data, they wanted examine their workforce demographics as well as understand how economists within the Civil Service experienced inclusion, attrition, retention, and progression. This was a mixed-methods study incorporating a survey and in-depth interviews to gain a detailed understanding of their workplace experiences.


To gain this understanding, we conducted a detailed audit of the policies and processes of the GES. This included examining areas such as their hiring, career progression, communication material, and vendor selection.

In addition, we sent out a survey to over 3000 members of the GES through which we collected information on workforce demographics, their employment experiences, as well as their experiences of inclusion using a combination of open-ended and close ended questions.

Finally, we conducted virtual, in-depth interviews with diverse members of the GES based out of different geographical locations. These interviewees were with individuals from different seniority levels – right from apprentices to Board members.

Based on the quantitative and qualitative findings, along with the results from the policy and processes audit, we provided the GES team with a detailed report to help them understand their workforce, the experiences they had working within the GES, and how these differed across demographic groups. We also laid out recommendations to help improve the D&I experience of people in the organisation. This also involved conducting a workshop with a wide range of stakeholders from the GES to discuss these recommendations in more detail. We brainstormed with their team on which recommendations were the most important, which needed to start first, and what steps would need to be taken.


· IDC provided GES with recommendations on recommendations on short-term and long-term actions that they needed to take internally in order to progress their diversity and inclusion agenda.

· Based on the research and following discussions, the GES set out an updated action plan for the coming years, launching new initiatives and enhancing their monitoring and evaluation of these D&I activities.

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