Diversity and Inclusion

 Diversity and Inclusion


The Public Service is actively changing with Irish society to reflect the communities we serve and is strongly committed to equality of opportunity in all its employment practices.

Throughout their working lives, Public Servants can be assured of equality of participation in their Organisation, Department or Office, regardless of gender, civil or family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller Community.

All Public Servants have a responsibility to create a working environment in which differences are respected and in which all people - staff, clients and customers - are valued as individuals.

Diversity logo

Employers in the Public Service aim to achieve real equality of opportunity by continuously monitoring its employment practices to ensure we can attract, retain, develop and engage a diverse high performing workforce to deliver Public Service objectives.

As an example, the Civil Service, as a whole, is working hard to ensure it is ‘an Employer of Choice’ through ensuring that the work that Civil Servants do is varied and meaningful, and that the supports are available to equip people with the appropriate skills to respond effectively to the work Civil Servants do on behalf of society. The Civil Service is currently developing a new, forward looking and progressive Diversity and Inclusion Policy that will help address our public sector duty to promote equality, eliminate discrimination and protect the human rights of all Civil Servants.

The record of many public sector organisations on diversity and inclusion puts us ahead of many other organisations. We are proud of a number of ground breaking initiatives and award winning programmes related to advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the Public Service. Here are some examples:

OWL Guide

Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) Programme

The Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) Programme is an applied learning, development and socialisation programme for adults with an intellectual disability. It is facilitated by the Houses of the Oireachtas Service in collaboration with KARE and WALK (the two sponsor organisations). The Programme aims to provide trainees with the skills, knowledge and ability to gain meaningful paid employment. Six OWL graduates are now employed on a part-time basis in the civil service with four staff in the Oireachtas Service and two staff members within the Public Appointments Service.

To support the Public Service towards inclusive employment, we have created a Guide to Promoting Inclusive Employment: Supporting People with an Intellectual Disability. Find out more about enhancing organisational inclusivity and how to get involved in the Programme by downloading the Guide to Promoting Inclusive Employment.



Willing Able Mentoring (WAM) Programme

On behalf of the Civil and Public Service, the Civil Service Equality Unit has worked in partnership with the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) to create a six month paid programme aimed at graduates with disabilities. To date, the WAM Programme has provided placements to over 350 graduates. WAM advertises opportunities through their programme to registered graduates on their website. You can register with WAM here. Once registered, candidates can apply for roles online.

There are many benefits for graduates undertaking the WAM Programme. The programme gives graduates the opportunity to gain work experience, develop their careers, learn new skills, train and receive support during their paid placement. We actively encourage graduates to apply for roles with us through the WAM Programme.

For more information and opportunities, please visit the AHEAD website.

Trinity Innovation Academy logoTrinity College Dublin Innovation Academy 

The Public Appointments Service has worked in collaboration with the Innovation Academy at Trinity College on two projects to encourage diversity and inclusion in the Public Service.

The first project "To attract and engage citizens from the Polish Community to the Civil and Public Service" took place in 2017 and following on from this success, a second project "To attract and engage Asian communities to the Civil and Public Service" was completed in Spring 2018.

The findings from these reports have been used as a framework in creating greater levels of awareness and insights into building a diverse and inclusive culture at the Public Appointments Service and across the Civil and Public Service.

We at the Public Appointments Service and publicjobs.ie are committed to recruiting people from a range of different backgrounds. We actively support those with additional requirements both during selection and in ensuring a smooth transition into the Public Service workforce.

Department of Foreign Affairs and TradeDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

In May 2018, the Management Board of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade endorsed an Action Plan to support the continued work on diversity and equality. This initiative builds upon the progress made around diversity and inclusion in the Public Service by the Department since developing a dedicated working group on Equality and Diveristy in 2016.

The Action Plan has identified a number of initiatives to build on progress, address barriers to the workplace and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equality. The proposals draw on best practice in other foreign ministries and engagement with public and private organisations (including the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission) with strong records in supporting diversity.

Access Officer

For more information on our accessibility or if you are a person with a disability, please see our People with Disabilities and Accessibility pages or contact our:

Disability Champion,

Amanda Kavanagh,

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (01) 8587655