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Three surveys underway into sexism and diversity in the charity sector

Three surveys underway into sexism and diversity in the charity sector

There are three surveys currently underway to assess the extent and nature of sexism, diversity and equality within the charity sector.

They have been published against the backdrop of criticisms of Oxfam and other aid agencies over their handling of whistleblowing about staff’s treatment of women; the behaviour and attitudes towards women ‘hostesses’ at the men-only fundraising event of the Presidents Club dinner; and the global focus on diversity, equality and violence against women highlighted by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and actions.

Of course, the issues that the surveys are seeking contributions on are far from new in the charity sector.


1. TimeIsUp

TimeIsUp is using a survey to help “end large scale coordinated cover ups of sexual harassment by men working for large UK international charities”.

Its organisers invite contributions from women “to let us know what your experiences have been, share your message to the international charity sector, and what you believe those in power need to do differently to protect women.” They add that “anyone is welcome to share information with us”.

The survey asks about experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace, for ideas on what can be done to address the problem, and “any examples of things that have worked well to prevent harassment or support victims”.

Information submitted will be used to “prepare anonymous evidence drawn from real experiences to submit to the UK government’s Women and Equalities Committee, who have now launched a full inquiry on sexual harassment in the workplace”. The inquiry is open for submissions until 13 March 2018.

The survey’s contacts are Alexia, Louise and Shaista at

Take the survey.


2. Sexism in the third sector


The team behind Is The 3rd Sector Sexist? is a group of women trainees on the CharityWorks graduate scheme for the charity sector who are researching the extent of sexism and harassment in the charity and not-for-profit sector in the UK.

They have set up a survey “to help map experiences of sexism with the aim of using the data gathered to help contribute to “the safety and wellbeing of everyone in this sector”.”

The survey asks about:

  • experienced sexism
  • witnessed sexism
  • experienced sexual harassment
  • witnessed sexual harassment.

It also includes an optional demographics section designed to build a picture of how experiences of sexism and harassment might vary by identity.

Take the survey.


3. Equality and inclusion in the voluntary sector in the UK

Equality and inclusion in the voluntary sector survey - screenshot

A survey on equality and inclusion is also underway.

It has been published by a group of charity sector staff who, while welcoming recent initiatives such as the above survey and those of IoF and NCVO, wonder if there is a need for another group or network

In the introduction to the survey, they say:

“… 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.

“We’d like to discover if there’s appetite for such a network and get input regarding its potential format and role.”

Take the survey.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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