Plans to increase diversity in the royal household have stalled over the last year.
In the wake of the royal race row, following accusations by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, officials vowed to increase the proportion of ethnic minority employees and increase awareness and training, both in person and online.
But last year the percentage remained static for the second year running at 9.7 per cent, just short of their original 10 per cent target.
Despite that, the palace has now set itself a new target of 14 per cent of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds.
More encouragingly just over 12 per cent of BAME employees are in senior roles, including the powerful Lord Chamberlain’s Committee.
The palace insist take-up on their programme of training, although largely voluntary, has been ‘some of the best we’ve had’.
Plans to increase diversity at Buckingham Palace (pictured) have stalled over the last year
But they admit that they want to do better and are willing to be ‘held to account’ for their lack of rapid progress.
A senior official said yesterday: ‘Her late Majesty and Their Majesties and other members of the royal family have always promoted and embraced the diversity of our nation. It’s therefore important that our own workforce reflects the communities that we serve.
‘We recognise we are not where we need to be. We recognise we need to do more. And we expect you to ask these questions…and hold us accountable for the progress, or lack of progress, that we have made.’
He said the situation had been further complicated by the change in reign and bringing together of two households and their staff.
Buckingham Palace said it was working at developing its recruitment practices, ensuring that its ‘culture is inclusive’ and that its employer brand is ‘open and engaging and promotes real opportunities to a wide core of people’.
‘That is in line with another of His Majesty’s clear leadership priorities, being to support, encourage and provide opportunities to those from diverse communities,’ Sir Michael Stephens said.
In the wake of the royal race row, following accusations by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, officials vowed to increase the proportion of ethnic minority employees and increase awareness and training
Kensington Palace revealed yesterday that 16.3 per cent of its workforce are from an ethnic minority background and 64 per cent of its staff are female
Kensington Palace revealed yesterday that 16.3 per cent of its workforce are from an ethnic minority background and 64 per cent of its staff are female.
Publishing details of its gender pay gap for the first time, officials said this had been reduced from 8.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent year-on-year, against a national average of almost 15 per cent, with an equal balance of men and women in terms of total headcount.
But there was a notable sore point, with the Queen’s female private secretary – effectively her chief of staff – earning less than half of her male counterpart who works for the King.
According to the annual accounts, Sophie Densham earned the equivalent of £90-95,000 a year compared to Sir Clive Alderton, who earned £205-210,000.
An official said this was down to her previously being an non-executive member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Committee and having a smaller budget and staff.