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GDP puts focus on diversity and inclusion

The Gibraltar Defence Police Forum for Females held a coffee morning last week with an aim to identify diversity and inclusion issues.

The forum was set up last year for women working across all areas of the GDP.

It is a means to provide information on opportunities to increase skills and experience, to raise awareness of issues/problems experienced by female colleagues and review recruitment procedures: all designed to ensure a level playing field.

The forum aims to expose committee members to positive role models by inviting guest speakers to initiatives such as these coffee mornings.

Alex Romero, Head of Business Support within the GDP and Chair of the forum, explained that its purpose is to create a support mechanism to ensure that the workforce is more representative of the community that it serves, by working to increase the number of female employees within the GDP and Defence Guard Service (DGS) and the number of female employees at higher ranks in these areas.

Guest attendees at the event, held in the GDP Headquarters, included Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento, Commissioner of Police Mr Ian McGrail, Hassans partner Ian Felices and Commander British Forces Commander Tim Henry.

“I am delighted to see that there has been such a positive outcome from the Department of Equality’s Women’s Mentorship Programme at this level,” Ms Sacramento said.

“It is particularly important in sectors where women are significantly under-represented that a forum such as this exists to facilitate inclusion and the message that senior jobs can be undertaken by women. It is through fora such as this where professional futures are shaped. I wish to thank those who have led on setting up this forum and wish it every success.”

In addition to GDP officers and staff, colleagues from the wider MoD community and from the Royal Gibraltar Police also attended.

The forum seeks to identify diversity and inclusion issues encountered within the GDP, provide mutual support and encouragement, ensure a level playing field in all areas of business and provide both internal and external networking experiences.

To achieve this, monthly meetings are held to facilitate general discussion and sharing of experiences in a confidential environment.

Key themes can then be identified and reported to senior management for action.

Finally, where possible, the forum aims to facilitate one-to-one coaching, an objective that last year was achieved through the participation of GDC members in the Women’s Mentorship Program run by the Ministry of Equality.

This was found to be extremely beneficial and those attending the coffee morning heard from participants how the Program had assisted them in both their personal and professional development.