British High Commission
Paid Parental Leave
Flexible Working Arrangements
Leadership Development Program
Internal Women's Networking Group
We Care About You.
The British High Commission in Singapore maintains and develops relations between the UK and Singapore. We are committed to the development of our staff. Local Staff have access to learning and development opportunities on our various platforms, in order to enhance their skills and build capability. We also promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow, ensuring all Posts provide at least our Global Minimum Standards as set out in our Charter. To find out about our basic employment offer, please read our Global Local Staff Charter. The Charter applies worldwide, but different Departments and Missions can adapt it to better reflect their local offer.
Our Gender Pledge.
The United Kingdom is committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, including the promotion and protection of their human rights. In the United Kingdom and many other countries, gender equality is recognised as a human right and an essential component of peace, security, development, and economic prosperity. The UK’s Equality Act of 2010 protects people in the UK from discrimination (at work or in wider society) based on sex, age, marital status, being pregnant or on maternity leave, race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, or gender reassignment.
Gender equality must not only be affirmed in policy but implemented in practice. This gender pledge sets out specific commitments and key actions on gender equality for the British High Commission in Singapore. Achieving gender equality is everyone’s responsibility. The British High Commission’s gender pledge is approved by the High Commissioner and implementation is the shared responsibility of all staff.
Workplace Culture and Hiring Practices
The British High Commission (BHC) is mindful of gender balance within divisions/departments, sections, and job grades.
Where a serious imbalance exists, the BHC will ensure that in recruitment, applicants from the underrepresented sex are encouraged to apply.
In job specifications, we will avoid language that might indicate gender stereotyping.
We will enforce a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. Employees are encouraged to report sexual harassment and provided with a confidential mechanism to do so.
We support staff who require flexible work arrangements.
We support short-term resourcing gaps with ‘returnships’, which help to re-integrate back into the BHC those who have taken a career break (e.g. parents who have taken a few years out to raise their children).
We are a family-friendly workplace and have a relaxation/breastfeeding room.
We have an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a Charter in place that fosters and promotes the best practices of accepting, respecting, and valuing differences, including gender, among staff.
We will seek training opportunities to equip staff with the tools needed to integrate gender equality into their work. This includes teaming up with the Canadian High Commission to understand their GBA+ (Gender-based Analysis Plus) analytic process as well as training on unconscious bias.
By the end of 2019, we will partner with organisations or businesses, which champion gender equality and gender mainstreaming with a view to benchmarking the BHC’s processes and sharing best practices.
By the end of this month, we will ensure all staff have access to a diversity toolkit and by 2020, will implement diversity awareness training and will include specific resources on gender. These will be included in the Induction and Probation programme.
By 2020, all staff will have undertaken gender mainstreaming training.
Gender equality champions
Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee will appoint a gender equality champion who will be responsible for providing guidance on enhancing gender equality at the Mission and tracking progress on the implementation of the gender pledge.
The High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner will regularly review our Gender Pledge Commitments in consultation with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and BHC staff.
Our Commitment On Raising Women in Leadership Roles.
Kara Owen - British High Commissioner
Alexandra McKenzie - Deputy High Commissioner
Our top 2 diplomats are both women:
MsKara Owen CVO has been appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Singapore in succession to Mr Scott Wightman CMG who will be transferring to another Civil Service appointment. Ms Owen will take up her appointment in July 2019.
MsAlex McKenzie arrived at the British High Commission, Singapore in August 2015 as Deputy High Commissioner and Political Counsellor. She joined the Foreign Office in 2002, and has spent her career focusing on Europe and Asia, with postings to Beijing, Paris and Berlin. Alex has a degree in Philosophy and German from the University of Bristol.
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