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Charities’ efforts ‘unconvincing and ineffective’ say contributors to new collection on diversity

Charities’ efforts ‘unconvincing and ineffective’ say contributors to new collection on diversity

Charities’ efforts at are ‘unconvincing and ineffective’ according to contributors to new collection of essays and podcasts on the topic.

Walking the talk: Putting workplace equality, diversity and inclusion into practice has been published by charity think-tank NPC and funded by Trustees Unlimited and Russam GMS.

Contributors have been drawn from charities and funders as well as from the private and public sector and selected for their ability to provide practical advice on how the sector can improve its diversity, and to give the social sector perspective on its own efforts to improve its diversity either from the inside or from another industry.

The collection contains practical advice for organisations of all sizes looking to improve their diversity, along with contributions from people frustrated at the pace of change in the sector, and with diversity programmes they feel do not address the structural inequalities that exist in society but are being replicated at scale in the charity sector.

The 10 essay and four podcast collection launched on Wednesday 10 July.

Podcasts include:

Arvinda Gohil, Chair of The Peel and former CEO of Community Links, talking about how a culture that prioritises ‘fit’ excludes people from different backgrounds such as herself

Rob Berkley, founder of and former director of the Runnymede Trust explaining why charities have a greater responsibility to be diverse than other organisations,

Syriah Bailey, Community Coordinator at Campaign Bootcamp, arguing that charity and philanthropy perpetuate marginalisation of some communities by excluding them from meaningful conversations and avoiding representation in favour of adding a ‘sprinkle of diversity’.

Nathan Yeowell, Head of Policy at NPC said;

“What we have heard through this work is that, in a wide variety of ways, people feel they are not listened to. They feel excluded, undervalued and tokenised. We wanted to share these perspectives, as well as practical advice aimed at overcoming and remedying the problems at their heart, because we believe that understanding both equally is important for positive change.

“We hope that by providing a resource for people who need practical help, and an outlet for those with criticisms and frustrations with the sector, we have added something valuable. If we can start having these sometimes-difficult conversations, we can work towards a shared understanding of what needs to be done and agenda for change.”

Sophie Livingstone, MD of Trustees Unlimited, said:

“We are delighted to support this project. With 70% of charity board positions not being advertised openly, it has never been more important to shine a light on the consequences of ‘group think’ in the not-for-profit sector. Asking challenging questions of a charity’s work and purpose requires different voices around the table. We hope that, in sharing these stories, we can encourage more charity boards to better reflect the people they serve now and in the future.”



Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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