We are excited to announce Walking the Talk, a new cross sectoral partnership between NPC, brap, Community Links, Chwarae Teg, The Peel, Trustees Unlimited and Russam.
Over the next few months, we will be commissioning a collection of contributions on what organisations have done to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in their workplace.
We are doing this because, even with the best intentions, people can struggle to know where to start on this journey. We at NPC often feel the same uncertainty and discomfort, but this is precisely why we should take action.
Our hope is that these honest and practical examples shared by other voluntary, private and public sector organisations will empower charities like ourselves to make positive changes to improve their workforce equality, diversity and inclusion.
You can expect stories of organisations large and small, talking about what they did to improve their practice across a broad range of characteristics, including race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, lived experience, and class.
We want contributions in whatever the medium people feel comfortable with, including videos and recordings to make this project as accessible and interactive as possible. At the end of the project we hope to have provided both the inspiration and practical tools to take action.
Why diversity isn’t enough
There has been a lot of high level debate in the sector about the need to improve the diversity of the charity sector workforce in recent months. There is a moral case for improving equality, diversity and inclusion, and there is clear evidence for the business and impact case too. These two imperatives are inseparable and we will be exploring both in this series.
But diversity alone is not enough; we need to go further. You could have a very diverse organisation where all of the people of colour, or women are in lower paid jobs. So we understand equality to mean there is diversity at all levels of leadership, including the trustee board. And we argue inclusion means that everyone feels comfortable in the workplace and able to achieve their full potential, regardless of their background or protected characteristics.
Though we share our working definitions above, there is no perfect language to describe what we are talking about. For now, we are using the term Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI.) But we hope that, through our upcoming series, we might provoke and promote a more frank discussion about power sharing in the social sector.
We do not pretend to know the answers but we are challenging ourselves, and you, to step up and do better.
Please get in touch with grace.wyld@thinkNPC.org if you would like to get involved.
This project has been made possible thanks to the financial support of Russam and Trustees Unlimited
Time and again, research into diversity amongst trustees and senior managers in the charity sector shows little progress. Our research briefing asks: what is holding the charity sector back from putting words into action?
Amina Memon, Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway University blogs to introduce work she has done in collaboration with NPC. She asks does the charity sector really care about diversity, and what is holding it back from acting if it does?
This paper outlines what it means to have a truly diverse board of trustees and what it brings to an organisation. It also explores how to manage and maintain a board that is diverse.