Not sure what that means..?
Well, according to the Civil Service Blog (readers, I venture here because I love it when the enemy reveals their plans..) it’s the next best thing since multigrain artisan sliced bread:
“Diversity in GCHQ has come a long way in the last 20 years”, tweeted Sir Jeremy Heywood – and he is right! I was incredibly proud to see the media focus on GCHQ last week – for all the right reasons – and Alan Turing’s nephew, Sir John Dermot Turing, encapsulated our vision when he spoke out about the importance of staff being free to be themselves, bringing their talents unencumbered to bear on the vital work we do.
So far, so blah. The article goes on patting itself on the back for ticking the politically-correct boxes, as you’d expect:
Our employee networks for women, BME, LGBT and disabled staff, as well as the members of our Women in Tech, Straight Allies and Accessibility initiatives, all work tirelessly to increase inclusivity. Our week-long Diversity Festival in 2013 saw external speakers from all walks of life reach into our otherwise walled-off work lives and make connections with staff.
Which must be why all government departments are super-efficient and work like well-oiled machines, yes?
We have also had great press interest in our neuro-diversity work.
We have long valued the unique contribution that those with different minds can bring and have a larger representation of colleagues on the autistic spectrum or with dyslexia or dyspraxia; they are core to our mission.
Oh. OK. If you say so…
Diversity for us, like the rest of the Civil Service, is not just a moral imperative – it is business critical. We are recruiting highly skilled staff who are in demand across the private sector, so we must send a positive message not just to staff, but to future recruits, for whom Diversity and Inclusion has been shown to be a key factor when considering employment…
Has it really?!?
Frankly, I’d have thought it would be the last thing on any new recruit’s mind, but maybe it explains the rather unique mindset of civil servants. And also why the civil service doesn’t run like a well oiled machine…
Now, being a blog, this allows comments, which might not be the smartest thing:
I’m very interested to see that GCHQ has recognised the value of ‘neuro-diversity’ as it shows that this is at least recognised by some part of the Civil Service. I can’t wait for it to be accepted by HMRC. As someone with a quite recent diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, too old to have been properly diagnosed as a child, the last two years have been hell at times, the worst in my 30 years in HMRC. Why? Because of the excessively high behavioural element embedded within the PMR system. Although my work is known to be very accurate and thorough and there are no problems at all with this, I have received a ‘must improve’ marking for both years since PMR was introduced, solely because my Asperger’s led to me having a few meltdowns owing to the unacceptably noisy conditions my office was expected to try to work in, and the fact that I was then unable to forgive the way I was treated under this invidious system. It is obvious that the effect on staff with this condition was never considered when PMR was drafted and no doubt there will be others in the same position as myself, saddled with an unfair marking just because they don’t always display what the majority consider ‘normal’ behaviour, regardless of their ability and the quality of their actual work, which is surely the most important factor.
So there you have it, prospective civil servants! In the interests of ‘neuro-diversity’, you’ll be working alongside temperamental whackjobs who wig out while in work, and expect not to have to comply with the standards of behaviour you signed up to (and would get punished for non-compliance with).
Because they are ’free to be themselves’….