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DCMS' LGBT Champion Made a Dame in the Queen’s Honours List

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Our Permanent Secretary Sue Owen was made a dame in the Queen’s 2018 Birthday Honours List.

Sue becomes a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) – recognising a highly distinguished Civil Service career spanning almost 30 years, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Forty years of public service

After 10 years in economics, Sue began her civil service career as an economic adviser at HM Treasury, Sue has held roles in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit (where she was instrumental in the recommendation of two weeks paternity leave) and in the Washington Embassy before returning to HMT to lead on European Monetary Union Policy. She held Director General level roles in DfID and DWP before becoming our Permanent Secretary in 2013.

Reshaping DCMS

Here, she has overseen the transformation of our department to become Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. From a base of 380 staff in 2013, DCMS has around 1200 people now, having taken in new responsibilities for digital, data and civil society.

Significant department achievements include:

  • Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
  • World-class First World War centenary commemoration programme
  • BBC Charter 2017
  • Securing Commonwealth Games 2022 for Birmingham
  • Data Protection Act (2018)

Sue has overseen a huge increase in our staff engagement scores, which went up from 45% in 2012 (3rd lowest in Whitehall) to 69% (4th highest) in just 4 years. Our scores for inclusion and fair treatment also increased significantly, from the lowest score in Whitehall (60%) in 2012 to the highest (84%) last year.

A champion for LGBT and inclusion

Sue has been a tireless champion of inclusion and fairness during her career. She took on roles as Diversity and LGBT Champion within her Departments and now leads cross-Whitehall work on women’s progression in the Senior Civil Service. In July 2014 Sue became the Civil Service LGB&T (straight ally) Champion, and overall Diversity and Inclusion Champion in July 2015. She also Chairs the Charity for Civil Servants.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

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