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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.

 
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After his employer failed to properly support his disability, which ultimately led to him not passing probation, FDA member Nigel* shares with Tommy Newell how the union helped change departmental policy to stop others experiencing the same issues.

24 July 2023
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The FDA’s Wendy Jones Equality Award and the Impact Award are presented each year at the union’s Annual Delegate Conference. Tommy Newell and Tom Nathan share details of this year’s winners and their work.

24 July 2023
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Kay Hender speaks to Equality Officer Victoria Jones about the FDA’s member development programme, aimed at inspiring and encouraging members in underrepresented groups to stand for election and become more actively involved in their union.

20 March 2023 | By Kay Hender
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Conference Chair and FDA member Sal Naseem explains why the event has adopted “a more inclusive branding” which “moves away from a term that has become toxic”.

16 December 2022
Analysis/comment
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Register today for the FDA’s in-person conference on 20 October 2022, which will offer hands-on advice, practical steps and coaching on how to adapt to new environments, expand networks, utilise opportunities effectively and further your career in times of change.

04 October 2022
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24th Jul 2023
After his employer failed to properly support his disability, which ultimately led to him not passing probation, FDA member Nigel* shares with Tommy Newell how the union helped change departmental policy to stop others experiencing the same issues.
24th Jul 2023
The FDA’s Wendy Jones Equality Award and the Impact Award are presented each year at the union’s Annual Delegate Conference. Tommy Newell and Tom Nathan share details of this year’s winners and their work.
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