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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. 

Read our diversity and inclusion strategy for 2024-26.

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) . 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 Ethnic Minorities 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 is 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.


If you are from a disadvantaged background, it is clear that becoming a member of a trade union, and particularly the FDA, improves your chances of getting in and getting on.

13 June 2024 | By Deri Bevan

The FDA has criticised the government’s plans to significantly cut Equality, Diversity and Inclusion spending in the civil service.

13 May 2024

FDA delegation report back on the TUC Black Workers’ Conference 2024

12 May 2024

On 23 and 24 March, FDA delegates attended the 2024 TUC Young Workers’ Conference, held at Congress House in London.

25 March 2024

The FDA responds to newly published civil service gender pay gap departmental reports for 2023

01 December 2023
2nd Jul 2024
At this year’s ADC, Fast Stream member Cyara Buchuck-Wilsenach received the Wendy Jones Equality Award for her work to advance gender equality in the civil service.
13th Jun 2024
If you are from a disadvantaged background, it is clear that becoming a member of a trade union, and particularly the FDA, improves your chances of getting in and getting on.
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