NCVO forced to restart search for EDI chair

17 Mar 2021 News

NCVO has restarted its search for someone to lead its equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) committee, after its first choice withdrew over a conflict of interests.

The recruitment process started in December last year, with candidates interviewed in February. The person who had agreed to take up the role subsequently pulled out on the advice of their employer.

NCVO has not named the person involved.

'This is an extremely important role'

The committee was established in 2020, and is one of a series of recommendations made after internal work at NCVO identified the need for “fundamental changes” within the organisation.

It later emerged that an independent report produced as part of that work included allegations of bullying, harassment and racism “at all levels of the organisation”.

Priya Singh, chair at NCVO, said: “We were pleased to make the appointment of a new independent chair to our EDI committee, but subsequently we were disappointed that they were unable to take up the role due to a conflict identified by their employer. 

“This is an extremely important role for NCVO so we will soon commence a further round of recruitment working with an agency partner.”

The committee

The EDI committee is currently chaired by NCVO trustee Anne Heal, on an interim basis.

The other members are: Julie Bentley, Karen Chapman, Chris Freed, Jake Ferguson, and Sarabajaya Kumar.

NCVO confirmed that the committee first met in September last year. It currently meets once a month, and will meet quarterly from April onwards.

Awaiting decision on Kaur role

NCVO told staff and associates a month ago that it had offered an advisory role with the EDI Committee to the former trustee Kiran Kaur.

Kaur, chief executive of the charity GirlDreamer, left NCVO’s board before her term expired, shortly after the bullying and racism allegations were made public, saying “the change I seek is beyond this role”.

Asked whether that offer still stood, a spokesperson said: “That conversation will need to take place between Kiran and the new chair.”

Karl Wilding, the NCVO chief executive, announced his departure at the end of January, after only 18 months in charge. Sarah Vibert is working as interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is appointed.

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