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The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other’s strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
Regional Head of EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) – SSA
Pay band: 8
Post Location: Flexible
Department: Cultural Engagement
Contract type: Locally Engaged
Duration: 3 Year Fixed Term Contract
The ideal candidate will be responsible for leading and managing the EDI strategy and delivery for the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) region. This includes refreshing and delivering the overall EDI Strategy for SSA, in alignment with the organisational priorities and objectives in this space, within the context of major organisational change.
The post holder will also be providing strategic direction to the Regional Executive Team in the area of EDI, working closely with the Regional Executive Team EDI Link (Country Director South Africa), and ensuring the strategy has a clear focus on the area of EDI Leadership and leaders’ accountability in EDI.
S/he will be responsible for strategic planning, management and implementation of actions, along with the governance, resource planning, financial and risk management, monitoring, evaluation and learning, internal communications and staff engagement, and research and insight plan to make sure we make necessary changes and embed them into our day to day working practice.
The post holder will be one of the British Council’s Accredited Diversity Facilitators or will aim to become one within the first year in the role.
Main opportunities / challenges for this role:
The Regional Head of EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) will:
- Work with the Regional Executive Team and wider SSA Leadership (particularly Country Directors), with EDI leads and coordinators, with the Diversity Unit in the UK and with the broader EDI global network and relevant external stakeholders in SSA to ensure that the EDI strategy is relevant to our region and to wider organisational priorities, especially in the context of major organisational change, and that it is appropriately engaged with and effectively delivered.
- Work effectively and collaboratively with leaders and colleagues across the region to help them understand and implement EDI strategy and objectives through mainstreaming, effective use of planning tools, engaged leadership and EDI-related initiatives, and to help develop their EDI capability, confidence and competence.
- Balancing proactivity with the inevitable reactive nature of the work and juggling competing priorities to ensure EDI is progressed, colleagues are supported, and risks related to EDI (business, reputational, legal, and moral) are proactively and effectively managed.
- Working with the Diversity Unit and the broader EDI network to ensure that the EDI strategy for SSA is robust, that we are accountable to our colleagues and to the wider organisation for progress and that successful SSA initiatives are shared with the wider organisation for best practice.
- Ensure there are ongoing opportunities for all staff, regardless of their pay band, contract status, location within the region, ethnicity, age, gender, role, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief are engaged to share their experiences – even when tackling difficult or uncomfortable issues –, contribute to the development of the EDI strategy and its delivery, and are encouraged to play a role in it.
- Ensure our EDI strategy and approach contributes to and is aligned with wider initiatives and teams including the organisation’s Anti- Racism Action Plan or the Diversity Assessment Framework.
- Excellent English communication skills
- 3 – 5 years work experience within EDI
- Strong practical skills, knowledge, and experience of working in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion space
- Experience of working with competing priorities on multiple projects, supporting different and dispersed teams to work towards a shared goal
- Proven experience of developing and implementing EDI strategies/initiatives to a culturally diverse group
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present competently, influence at various levels and adapt and tailor communications according to different and diverse audiences
- Willingness to work flexibly within a small stretched team to contribute holistically, with a solution seeking mindset
- Leading and/or working as part of a virtual team
- Knowledge and understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion issues and related legislation in SSA
Additional Information: All applicants should have a pre-existing legal status to live and work in their country of application.
We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the essential criteria for the role. There is an occasional requirement to travel to different regions and to regularly travel to the headquarters in London, UK. This may sometimes involve working unsocial hours.
Closing Date: 7 July 2021 applications will close 23:59 South Africa Time