Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Our work is based on building meaningful, enduring, and respectful relationships across cultures. We cannot do this without a strong commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We want the British Council to be an inclusive place to work, and that starts with recruitment. We are committed to reviewing our processes to reduce and remove biases and discrimination in our processes, and we continue to look for ways to make changes that will make recruitment more inclusive and create a more representatively diverse workforce.

Here are some of the ways we are supporting EDI in recruitment:

  • We are a Disability Confident Employer. We offer a guaranteed interview to any applicant that declares they have a disability, providing they meet the minimum standards of the job role.
  • We are reviewing the channels we advertise our job vacancies on to help reach a wider range of applicants and bring more diverse candidates into the pipeline.    
  • Interview panels are made up of three people. This helps to think more broadly and inclusively about who we are bringing into the organisation.  
  • We aim to form interview panels that are representative across diversity areas. Everyone who sits on an interview panel must complete our in-house Recruiter in Excellence training programme and complete Unconscious Bias training to ensure we hire the best and most diverse talent.
  • Interviews are structured whereby each candidate is asked the same questions, in the same order, standardising the interview process. This begins to reduce bias by focusing interviewers on relevant factors and performance-related comparisons.
  • Adjustments to the recruitment process. We celebrate talent from all backgrounds at the British Council and we welcome applications from people who identify as disabled, neurodivergent or have long-term health conditions. We will be happy to make reasonable adjustments during the selection process which you can find out more about below.

Adjustments to the recruitment process

If you have a disability, are neuro-divergent or have a condition that you believe may affect your performance during our selection process, we strongly encourage you to share any adjustments you may need with us. This information is treated with confidentiality and is used to help us arrange any adjustments to the recruitment process that you may require.

Here are some examples of adjustments we have made, to give you an idea of what is possible:

  • Providing additional time for an interview or online assessment
  • Providing neuro-divergent candidates with questions in advance of the interview
  • Hard copy accessible materials e.g., large print.
  • Office orientation before an in-person assessment.

As an employee at the British Council

You can read more about what we are doing on our Diversity and Inclusion webpages and the approach we take to EDI.  

We have established a range of affinity groups and internal and external networks to connect individuals from varied backgrounds. These groups are made up of people connected by similar identities, backgrounds or experiences focused on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Groups and networks include the Ethnically Diverse Group, Sex Equality and Equity Network, Disability Advisory Panel, Aspiring White Allies Group.

We have a Global EDI mailing list made up over 700 colleagues with an interest in equality, diversity, and inclusion. This is a valuable space that enables us to connect with each other across our global organisation and as a result learn on various levels. Colleagues share resources, articles, opinions, and experiences around EDI related topics. 

Supporting employee well-being

Employee well-being is a global priority at the British Council.
We are committed to equipping and empowering employees to look after their well-being so that they can perform at their best in both their professional and personal lives. We provide a range of well-being support, resources, and training designed to support mental and physical well-being.

Our comprehensive support package includes access to a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme run by expert clinicians globally, providing counselling, coaching, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and much more. Alongside this, Occupational Health services and an in-house global network of Mental Health First Aiders ensure there is a full support offer.

We encourage all employees to upskill on their well-being knowledge; we have a full suite of training courses on mental health awareness, positive psychology and resilience that can accessed at any time. Plus, we host a calendar of live training workshops and talks led by subject experts, to raise awareness of well-being topics.