Diversity and equality essential for the best public services

Diversity and equality can be promoted through the UK’s public services without incurring significant costs or delays in procurement.

This was the message from speakers at the launch of the CBI’s new report Promoting diversity: the power of procurement. It showcases a range of partnerships between CBI member companies and public sector clients which promote diversity and equality agenda alongside improving the performance of the services and the outcomes achieved for the people using them.

The experience of the companies featured in the report is that achieving good outcomes on diversity and equality goes hand in hand with delivering high-quality public services. Examples included in the report include welfare-to-work services in Cornwall and the construction of the London 2012 Olympics aquatics centre in east London.

The report provides practical guidance for public bodies and their suppliers on using the purchase and provision of public services to improve equality and diversity in the communities they serve.

Keynote speaker at the event was Government Equalities Office director general Jonathan Rees. On the panel were Audrey Williams (hosts Eversheds LLP), Armar Johnston (Balfour Beatty), Frances Brennan (Working Links).