Diverse and thrive: how building more inclusive organisations can improve delivery

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May 16, 2023

Diverse teams are now acknowledged to be critical in creating organisations that are innovative and responsive at a time of changing needs. Many government organisations have set targets to increase the diversity of their workforce across gender, ethnicity, disability, and cognitive diversity, and the US government’s Office of Personnel Management has highlighted how diversity leads to greater innovation in government, as employees from varied backgrounds bringing different perspectives, ideas and solutions to the workplace that result in new products and services.

This session looked at how governments can harness such insights, looking at how they can recruit and retain a more diverse workforce, and how they can create policymaking and delivery structures to harness these insights.

The session covered:

  • How to recruit to create diverse teams
  • How to create policymaking structures that harness the insight of employees from different backgrounds
  • How to create systems that allow for ideas from officials throughout public sector organisations to be brought forward and developed


Yoliswa Makhasi, Director-General, Ministry of Public Service and Administration, South Africa

Yoliswa Makhasi is an activist bureaucrat who started her career in the public sector in 1996. She currently serves as Director General of the Department of Public Service and Administration since March 2020 – her responsibilities include ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the Department amongst others. Previously, she was Head of the Department for Community Safety in the Gauteng Provincial Government since 2016. She is a qualified Coach, strategist, communicator, and an activist who has grown up in different ranks in the public service.

Her academic credentials include Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) in Coaching Management from University of Stellenbosch (2019); Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from University of Manchester (UK) (2005); Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vista University (PE). She has continuously improved her skills and has obtained a number of certificates mainly from Wits University & Gordon Business School (GIBS) on project management, leadership, financial management, government communications etc.

Yoliswa has worked in different roles within the development sector and public service from operations, management, and political/ strategic levels and has been exposed to different levels of decision-making, oversight, management and operations. Her key capabilities and competencies include policy development and analysis; strategic leadership, planning, monitoring and evaluation; project management, people management, stakeholder relations, partnerships and constituency building; risk management; corporate governance and communications.

Jane Wiseman, Innovations in Government Fellow, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, USA

Jane Wiseman has over 30 years of experience helping improve government operations, as an appointed official in government and as a financial advisor and consultant to government.  Her current consulting, research, and writing focus on government innovation and data-driven decision-making.  She is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and at the National Academy of Public Administration.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. A full list of experience can be found here, and a full list of publications can be found here

Katherine Easter, Chief People Officer, Pension Protection Fund, United Kingdom

Katherine has worked in senior level HR positions in both private and public sector organisations. Before joining us, Katherine was head of HR, regulated industries, at the engineering consultancy Kier, previously Mouchel.

In this role she led a talent management process to support the business strategy. Her work received industry recognition and delivered a two-year people strategy that increased the organisation from 800 to 2,500 people through organic growth and acquisition.

She also implemented an employee engagement strategy aimed at significantly reducing staff turnover, which resulted in Mouchel securing a top 20 place in The Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For.

Katherine currently holds a non-executive role at Isle Utilities, a technology and innovation consultancy specialising in cleantech with employees across Europe, Australia, Singapore, the US and Middle East, and for the National Infrastructure Commission, an arms-length body reporting to Treasury. Katherine has an MSc in Social and Applied Psychology from the University of Kent and lives in London.

Tia N. Butler, Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), USA

Tia N. Butler is the Chief Human Capital Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) where she is responsible for the recruitment, development and retention of CMS’ most valuable resources, its people, who operate daily in achieving the CMS objective: to improve the nation’s health and quality of life. She previously served as an executive with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She began her career in public service with the Department of the Navy and has also worked as a Human Capital and Management Consultant. Tia has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia and a MA in Education and Human Development from the George Washington University.

Webinar chair: Mia Hunt, Editor, Global Government Forum

Mia has been Editor of globalgovernmentforum.com since 2019. She is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been Market Reports and Supplements Editor at trade title Property Week and Deputy Editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and Tes Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge.

Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.