Connecting Diverse Voices celebrates its most successful year to date

The 2021 round of Connecting Diverse Voices (CDV), the GCS Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) mutual mentoring scheme has come to an end.

Now in its fourth year, the CDV programme aims to increase confidence across GCS in championing all areas of D&I, by matching a GCS senior leader with a GCS volunteer who has knowledge or experience of a prioritised area of D&I. The senior leader, in turn, can offer guidance on leadership, career progression and development. 

This round saw 150 active participants from across 18 government bodies; a 25% increase in participation from the 2020 programme. 80% of 2021 programme participants said they increased their confidence in understanding and championing D&I, a 5% increase from 2020. 

Andrea Breau, Senior Communications Manager at the Department for Education, and one of the 2021 CDV co-leads reflected on the programme’s most successful year to date:

“Leading Connecting Diverse Voices in 2021 has been an amazing experience. It’s been wonderful to watch how mentoring relationships built by this year’s programme have brought shared understanding on both professional and personal issues. It’s been a true three-person team effort between me, Corina Sehmar from Defra and Libby Daniels from the Government Equalities Office to make this year’s programme a success. My thanks to them and also to our Board and senior sponsors for their advice during the year.”

The 2021 programme’s closing event took place on 11 January where a number of 2021 programme participants spoke about their experience.

Simon Baugh, Chief Executive of GCS and CDV programme sponsor, who spoke at the closing event said:

“Creating truly diverse teams relies on fostering inclusive environments where everyone can perform at their best. As government communicators it’s vital that our communications reflect the multi-cultural and multi-faceted society that we serve. Connecting Diverse Voices continues to play a critical role in supporting these ambitions through enabling honest conversations where we can all learn and improve together.”

Navneet Kaur, Project Coordinator at GCS and Ben Morse, Head of Campaigns at the Home Office, spoke about their mentoring partnership at the closing event. Navneet said:

“CDV has given me the opportunity to connect with a senior colleague that comes from a completely different walk of life. Through informal, non-work related conversations, I quickly realised that while our foundations were completely different, we also had a lot in common. By participating in the programme, my mentor Ben has given me confidence to bring my whole authentic self to work, and has given excellent professional advice.”

Find out more about Connecting Diverse Voices. GCS members will be notified when applications for the 2022 programme open in the spring.

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