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https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/race-to-the-top-g6-7/

Race to the Top G6/7

The logo of the Race to the Top G6/G7 network, with the text 'race to the top G6/7' to the left of three upward facing arrows outlined in pink, blue and yellow, respectively.

The Race to the Top Grade 6/7 Network (RTTT G6/7) is a community of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) G6/7 civil servants across all government departments and agencies. Established in June 2016, the network is known for rapid growth, development and impact, delivering a wide range of innovative programmes.  The network’s journey and success is charted in this blog post. 

The network’s overarching intention is to help BAME G6/7s thrive and progress, helping to address BAME underrepresentation in the Senior Civil Service (SCS).  The network supports members by helping to increase preparedness for leadership at the next levels, strengthening personal networks with peers and senior leaders and providing a stronger collective voice.

The network co-chairs Anita Bhalla and Bernadette Thompson are responsible for setting direction, programme development and representing members’ interests in providing challenge and advice to senior Civil Service leaders on race equality issues. 

Aims

Our main aims are to:

  • assist the Civil Service in increasing ethnic diversity in senior roles
  • inspire, support and strengthen the leadership capability of BAME G6/7s aspiring to progress  to the SCS
  • provide a regular forum for BAME G6/7s to meet, exchange ideas and strengthen personal networks 
  • act as a challenge function and provide solutions to help increase senior ethnic diversity in the Civil Service
  • build a critical mass of BAME role models to inspire, motivate and encourage more BAME employees to develop their Civil Service careers 
  • actively identify and champion initiatives that advance race equality and inclusion across the Civil Service.

Approach

We are a forum for linking, strengthening and supporting BAME G6/7 civil servants across government, helping to maximise their potential and impact in addition to supporting wider BAME progression. We are an action-orientated network of volunteers, focusing on inspiring and developing the next generation of BAME SCS leaders. We do this through sponsorship, guidance and networking, working collaboratively with a wide range of partners to deliver bespoke, targeted programmes.  

Some of the external organisations we have partnered with include:

  • FDA Union
  • Change Associates
  • Institute for Government
  • This is Thrive Consulting

We collaborate with wider government networks and corporate colleagues to advance race equality and inclusion, including:

  • Race to the Top SCS network
  • departmental race networks
  • other cross government race networks
  • the central diversity and inclusion team

Programmes

Cross Government SCS Shadowing Scheme

This scheme gives BAME G6/7s the opportunity to flexibly shadow a senior colleague in their own department or gain insight into senior leadership elsewhere.  Participants shadow an SCS colleague for two to three days over a period of months, allowing close hand observation of senior leadership in action, with opportunities to discuss leadership approach, the complexities of senior roles and key success factors for leadership at the next level. Hundreds of shadowing opportunities are arranged each year with high participant evaluations of learning impact.  

Women in leadership 

These sessions explore the gender/ethnicity intersect with senior women leaders within the Civil Service and beyond. The focus is on sharing experience in navigating barriers to help ensure BAME G6/7 women realise their full career potential. 

BAME men role models

We are keen to improve the representation levels of ethnic minority men across the Civil Service, particularly at more senior grades. These conferences enable colleagues to hear about the leadership journey of senior BAME men in the Civil Service, helping to challenge and change perceptions that BAME men cannot thrive in government.

Leadership development

Our training sessions – often delivered by our external partners – allow members to strengthen leadership skills, increase resilience and access peer support. Partnership with the Institute for Government enables members to access the latest insights about government effectiveness.

Networking events

These events help members expand their personal networks by creating opportunities to network with senior leaders in their professions and beyond and to build links with leaders in the wider public and private sectors.  We have ensured members have regular opportunities to directly share their perspectives and experience with those at the highest senior Civil Service levels.  

Regular information circulars

A bite-sized e-communication keeping members informed of activities and opportunities across the Civil Service and wider race inclusion developments.

Awards 

The network’s impact is widely recognised within and external to the Civil Service winning multiple awards.  In 2019 the network won:

  • Employee Network Excellence category in the Civil Service D&I Awards
  • Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion Public Sector Employee Network Group 
  • Investing in Ethnicity Network Group Award

For more information about the network and its activities, contact: g67racetothetop@gmail.com, Anita Bhalla or Bernadette Thompson.