New charity equality and inclusion network planned

14 Mar 2018 News

Lucy Caldicott

Sector figures are looking to form a ‘cross-functional, intersectional network’ on equality and inclusion in the voluntary sector, and a survey had been launched to gage views on its potential format.

Lucy Caldicott, chief executive of UpRising, a national youth leadership development organisation, has launched a survey which looks to find out what an equality and inclusion network would be for, what it should be called, who should be able to join, and which areas should be prioritised.

She has also asked respondents to, if they wish, share experiences of discrimination and/or exclusion.

Caldicott said that it is “well documented that UK civil society doesn’t represent wider society,” giving examples including that only three charities featured in Stonewall’s 2018 Top 100 Workplace Equality Index.

She also referenced that “according to the Colour of Power research published in October 2017, only two of the chief executives of the Top 10 charities are BAME, and one of those has since announced he's stepping down”; and that the Family Resources Survey 2015/16 showed that 18 per cent of working age adults are disabled, “yet the numbers employed in the voluntary sector are nowhere near this”.

On launching the survey, Caldicott said: “It is heartening to see a number of initiatives now emerging to tackle this lack of representation. In early 2018, the Institute of Fundraising and Acevo have both announced change programmes and it will be good to see the outputs of their work and of other sector bodies.

“While this work is underway, what of those of us who identify as under-represented minorities within the charities and wider sector where we work? Where do we gain support and solidarity?

“A number of us have been discussing whether there would be value in creating some form of cross-functional, intersectional network to share stories, create a sense of solidarity, and potentially support each other to make change happen in our own organisations and beyond.”

The survey, available here, will close on 31 March 2018.

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