Who we are

The Diversity Unit is a core team of two people, supported by an established network of global diversity leads and working groups. The Unit sets and drives the strategic direction of equailty, diversity, and inclusion across the organisation's offices in over 110 countries.

Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Dr. Fiona Bartels-Ellis, OBE

Fiona has a background in social work and social work education. 

In 2002 Fiona received a Mainstreaming Diversity Award from the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners and in June 2005 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her equality and diversity work. She won the Ghana Professional Achievers (GPA) Award for humanitarian services to the UK and Ghana in 2008 and the ORC Worldwide Peter Robertson Award for Equality and Diversity Champions in 2009. In 2013 she was awarded career woman of the year by Women4Africa and was included in the 2014 Power List of Britain’s most influential black people.

Deputy Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Jane Franklin

Jane has worked in a range of teams within the British Council since 1995, joining the Diversity Unit in 2001. Her qualifications include a Masters in Promoting Equality and Managing Diversity. She is an ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) trained mediator. She is also a trustee of Burnage Food Bank.

Global Diversity Leads

Our Global Diversity Leads support management teams across all British Council offices to build Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into all aspects of our work. They have the unique expertise and understanding of their own cultures to help reflect the issues facing our staff around the world and at the same time are committed to our approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and ensure our work is relevant across different cultures and contexts. They are a crucial network for the Diversity Unit, enabling us to work in a fluid and dynamic manner across the globe. 

Disability Advisory Panel

Our Disability Advisory Panel is a group of external specialists with significant personal and professional experience of different aspects of disability. They provide advice and guidance and take the role of ‘critical friends’ in supporting us to better promote disability equality across the work we do. We draw upon their expertise to inform organisational best practice as well as provide input on programmes and projects.