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Departmental Equality

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what information his Department holds on the (a) sex, (b) ethnicity, (c) age, (d) disability, (e) sexual orientation and (f) religion or belief of its staff; and what assessment he has made of his Department's performance against its targets relating to diversity in its workforce. (246022)

In the Department, the employee breakdown is as follows:

(a) 457 male (52.3 per cent. of all staff);

(b) 417 female (47.7 per cent. of all staff);

(c) 45 staff declared from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds (5.1 per cent. of all staff), 376 not known (43.0 per cent.), 13 prefer not to say (1.5 per cent.);

(d) 39 declared a disability (4.5 per cent.), 515 not known (58.9 per cent.), 19 prefer not to say (2.2 per cent.);

(e) 13 declared not heterosexual (1.5 per cent.), 238 sexual orientation not known (27.2 per cent.), 29 prefer not to say (3.3 per cent.);

(f) Three staff declared Buddhist (0.6 per cent.), 192 Christian (22.0 per cent.), three Hindu (0.3 per cent.), one Jewish (0.1 per cent.), five Muslim (0.6 per cent.), five other religion (0.6 per cent.), 119 no religion (13.6 per cent.), 511 not known (58.5 per cent.), 35 prefer not to say (4.0 per cent.).

Departmental records on the numbers of BME staff are based on voluntary self-declaration on the basis of the categories used in the 2001 census. Records on the numbers of disabled staff are also solely based on voluntary, self-declaration of being a disabled person as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act, and not connected in any way to a formal register of disability. Similarly, records on religion or beliefs are solely based on voluntary, self-declaration.

The Department has a Diversity Action Plan and is currently developing its diversity targets.