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Diversity initiative news round up

Diversity initiative news round up

Here are three items of news concerning charities and their recent initiatives, from Comic Relief’s adoption of a recruitment platform to improve its application and selection programme, Marie Curie becoming a Stonewall Champion, and Stonewall’s own Young Campaigners programme for 16-25 year olds.


Comic Relief turns to Applied platform in drive for inclusive & diverse recruitment

Comic Relief is using recruitment platform Applied as part of its strategic plan to ensure an inclusive and diverse application and selection process.

Applied is designed to allow employers to measure candidates on what matters with mechanisms built into the platform to ensure companies hire the best person for the role, regardless of their background, including blind reviewing, job board analysis, gender decoding and diversity reporting.

Comic Relief began using Applied in January this year to help manage recruitment for both full-time staff and short-term recruitment for its peaks of campaign activity such as Red Nose Day and Sport Relief.

Charlotte Hillenbrand, Comic Relief’s Executive Director of Digital & Innovation, said:

“With Applied, our hiring can be more strategic and focused. In addition, we can plan how and where we’re searching for talent across many different communities, job forums, regions or universities, so that our recruitment is diverse and ensures we get the best people for the roles available.”

Applied is also helping senior departmental colleagues identify high potential candidates more quickly through its customisable job description, application and candidate interview processes.

Comic Relief’s Recruitment Manager Charlotte Cole said:

“Applied enables us to ask specific role-related questions in the application process. This lets us focus on the candidate’s skills, rather than trying to connect the dots between a cover letter and a CV and risking our own unconscious bias contributing to decision making. By only interviewing candidates that have demonstrated the combination of skills we are looking for, we find that our interviews are much more satisfying for candidates and managers and ultimately lead to a higher conversion rate, from candidate to employee.”


Marie Curie signs up to be Stonewall Diversity Champion

Marie Curie has signed up to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion, building on the charity’s existing work to promote LGTBQ+ diversity and inclusion amongst its staff and volunteers, as well as the patients and families it supports in hospices and communities across the UK.

Stonewall currently works with more than 750 organisations to help them create workplaces that are inclusive and welcoming of LGBT people.

As a Diversity Champion, Marie Curie will receive expert consultation and advice from Stonewall. Together they will review current policies and practices, and staff training, and Stonewall staff will engage with senior leaders, and help support the charity’s growing LGBTQ+ network across the UK to ensure that staff and volunteers can feel safe and be themselves.

The charity has also set up a working group to ensure people from LGBTQ+ communities receive the best possible care and support from Marie Curie; and to make sure they feel safe to be who they are when using the charity’s nursing, hospice and patient-facing volunteer-led services, as well as to show that Marie Curie is a charity that values and welcomes diversity.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of Marie Curie, said:

“Our Hiding who I am report showed that many from LGBTQ+ communities can avoid palliative care, or hide their sexuality when using palliative care services, because they think they will be discriminated against. We are determined to ensure that our services are welcoming and supportive to the LGBTQ+ community. Our own staff and volunteers also deserve to work in a place where they feel they can be who they are and bring the best of themselves to work every day.

Jo Estrin from Stonewall said:

“We’re delighted Marie Curie has joined our Diversity Champions programme. We’ll be supporting them to embed LGBT inclusion throughout the organisation and create a more accepting workplace. We know that people perform better at work when they can be themselves and that diverse teams lead to more creative and productive environments.”


Stonewall BAME/PoC LGBTQ+ Young Campaigners Programme

Stonewall is administering a programme to empower LGBTQ+ people of colour (PoC) and black, Asian and minority ethnicities (BAME) to bring about positive change in their communities.

Supported by Comic Relief, the programme has been running under the youth branch of the charity since December 2018 with all Stonewall staff facilitating it identifying as BAME/PoC and LGBTQ+.

So far the programme has included campaigning residentials that have seen participants reflecting on their own identity and experience, gaining skills to campaign for equality and hearing from activists and role models from the BAME/PoC LGBTQ+ communities.

In early 2020 participants be offered the opportunity to develop and deliver content for an exciting youth event that will showcase the campaigns as well as exploring other issues affecting young LGBTQ+ people.


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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