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Equality and diversity

The FDA believes that public services should represent the people they serve. We are dedicated to promoting equality for all and to fighting all forms of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation. 

For more than 100 years, the FDA has been fighting for what is right. We opposed the marriage bar that stopped women being wives and workers; we campaigned for the rights of gay and lesbian staff to work in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; we started the fight for equal pay in 1935 and continue to pursue fair pay for our members now. 

There is still more to be done to achieve true equality, diversity and inclusion in public service, and we continue to lead the way in creating workplaces that are accessible to all, and ensuring everyone can achieve their full potential – no matter their gender, race, sexuality, disability, age or background.    

We promote equality by:

  • Taking on individual member’s cases, from pay discrimination to securing reasonable adjustments, and everything in between.
  • Working with employers to improve opportunities for under-represented groups across government, and to eliminate direct and indirect discrimination.
  • Conducting research and campaigning for solutions to the problems caused by bias. 
  • Calling out and challenging inequality wherever we see it. 
  • Liaising with departmental and civil-service wide equality networks.
  • Hosting targeted professional development events. 
  • Attending monthly meetings with Civil Service Employee Policy (CSEP) and Civil Service Diversity Strategy (CSDE) to further promote our equality agenda.  

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Sub-committee

The FDA’s work on equality is co-ordinated by our Executive Committee's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Sub-committee (EDIC) and strategically led by National Officer Victoria Jones . The committee meets four times a year to discuss union policy and work on equality issues. 

Professional development

We’re proud to host a number of events in partnership with Dods, including BAME into Leadership and Women into Leadership. Held across the country, these conferences feature speeches, workshops and networking opportunities, designed to equip delegates with the tools they need to progress their careers. Members benefit from greatly discounted tickets to these events. 

Get involved

The FDA are keen to hear from members who are passionate about ensuring that diversity, inclusion and equality becomes a reality in their workplace. 

Whether through being a rep, working on one of our campaigns or representing the union at a TUC Equality Conference, there are many ways you can get involved in the FDA’s equality work. 

We can provide training, information and opportunities, to ensure you are supported to get involved with the issues you are passionate about. 

Like to be more involved? Have ideas on how you can help your union help its members? Email equalitymatters@fda.org.uk.


In the week of Global Pride, FDA Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby discusses her own experience of the marches and parades - and outlines why it’s so important to celebrate it.

26 June 2020

The FDA has launched a survey for members and non-members with caring responsibilities to help shape our work.

09 June 2020 | By Victoria Jones and Santosh Bhabra

FDA Equality Officer Victoria Jones on why we still need to talk about pay.

29 May 2020 | By Victoria Jones

FDA Equality Officer Victoria Jones shares advice on the rising issue of domestic abuse.

05 May 2020
Women's TUC 2020 555

As we mark the end of Women’s History Month, FDA Executive Committee member Margaret Haig reflects on this year’s TUC Women’s Conference, and shares her speech on the FDA’s motion on bullying and harassment in the House of Commons.

30 March 2020 | By Margaret Haig
3rd Sep 2020
Equality Officer Victoria Jones highlights significant diversity figures from the recently-published civil service statistics.
26th Jun 2020
In the week of Global Pride, FDA Assistant General Secretary Lucille Thirlby discusses her own experience of the marches and parades - and outlines why it’s so important to celebrate it.

Problem at work? In need of help?

Get in touch now and one of our reps will be here to support you 

Find us
FDA, 93-95 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1NL