Senedd Conservatives criticise Welsh Government for employing diversity officers
The Conservatives in the Senedd have criticised the Welsh Government for employing four diversity officers.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that “there are four staff in roles which have responsibility solely or predominantly for diversity issues in the Welsh Government” at a cost of £151,436.62.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said that employing these officers showed that the Welsh Government was more interested in “woke” issues than in dealing with everyday problems like the cost of living crisis.
“£150,000 is not going to solve the cost-of-living crisis – but spending money on redundant, woke jobs shows a complete lack of perspective and priority within the Labour Government when it comes to spending public money,” he said.
“Not only that, it seems that having diversity officers is not producing positive results, with any progress being very slow.
“I think spending this much money on this many people to tell the Labour-run Welsh Government that they should hire people based on demographic characteristics rather than on merit and the content of their character suggests something is deeply wrong within its recruitment practices, or that it is more concerned with virtue-signalling than achieving actual results.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We want to be an organisation which reflects the full diversity of Wales.
“Our staff should be able to be themselves in the workplace as we deliver on our commitments to build a stronger, fairer, greener Wales. These roles play a crucial part in making this happen.”
In the Welsh Government Employer Equality Report for 2020/21, released last month, the Welsh Government Bord Equality Champion, Andrew Jeffreys, said that they knew there was “still a way to go before we reflect the diverse country that we serve”.
However the change to working patterns due to the pandemic had also provided them with “new opportunities,” he said.
“We are moving towards a more flexible and inclusive way of working that can benefit everyone,” he said. “We are embracing the technology that allows us to work effectively and collaboratively wherever we are.
“We have moved to online and virtual events, learning & development programmes and recruitment. This has given us greater geographical equality in our workplace than we have seen before.”
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