Diversity, equity and inclusion in a global pandemic
Concepts and definitions of diversity, equity and inclusion will mean different things to different people based on very personal experiences. As members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coalition of Funders, we have used established terminology being used by others in this space, for consistency and clarity.
Diversity: This has been defined broadly to encompass the demographic mix of a specific collection of people, taking into account elements of human difference.
Equity: Improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Inclusion: Refers to the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in a process, service or organisation for example. The context will be important in determining levels of inclusion.
Our existing commitments as a funder
We are strongly committed to this agenda. We have long funded and operated in a way that seeks to level the playing field. For example, our funding responds to levels of deprivation in communities, our funding products allow people as well as large charities to access support to address the issues they know count and we have more recently explored how we can support those with lived experience and bring youth voice into our organisation. These are just some of the practical ways that we are operationalising our commitments every day.
We use our funding and relationships to help create stronger, more connected communities.
Our corporate plans and processes hold us to action and monitor our performance to ensure we are doing the best that we can. Here are just some of the commitments we have already made:
Our funding is more flexible and accessible
- 90% of customers agree our processes are simple and straightforward and under-represented groups are not disadvantaged by any of our grant-making processes.
- By 2023 we have robust data, which enables each portfolio to understand the spread and impact of funding across diverse communities, identify areas of under-representation and implement plans to address this
We create an inclusive culture and sense of belonging for a diverse workforce
- 80% of colleagues feel proud to work at the Fund.
- We exceed Civil Service and distributor benchmarks for representative workforce.
As a leader and catalyst, we promote diversity and inclusion in civil society
- We share practice and learn from participation in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coalition and develop frameworks for ourselves and others in the sector.
- We deliver an annual programme of regular internal and external communications and engagement on our diversity and inclusion ambitions.
Funding in crisis
We are committed to equity and want to ensure we keep this at the forefront of our minds as we make difficult decisions about how best to target resources.
We want to ensure that our Covid-19 response funding is accessible to people from all communities, and those who work, in particular, to support groups who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the crisis. We also want to ensure that our funding is used to reduce inequality and where possible contribute to a more equitable post-viral world.
What we have done so far to incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into our Covid-19 funding response
- EDI has been a key part of developing our plans to support organisations. This has informed a taxonomy that we are using as we operationalise our response.
- We intend to support communities experiencing health inequalities, based on what we are hearing from the sector, our own existing insight intelligence and analysis from researchers about how Covid-19 is particularly affecting certain communities.
- We have used that taxonomy to analyse our existing list of grant holders and understand which kinds of organisations would be key to support from an EDI perspective – ensuring we aren’t just responding to the organisations which are well connected and shout loudest.
- We’ve tested the funding mechanisms, materials and information that we use in order to ensure they are accessible to all communities and tested our funding response against some of the specific proposals we are receiving from BAME community organisations to sense check that what we are planning is relevant to what they need.
- We’ve analysed the recommendations of the CharitySoWhite report against our proposed funding response and developed some draft guidance for staff based on those recommendations.
We will draw on the strengths and insights amongst our staff networks and external stakeholders in order to develop and implement our Covid-19 response funding.
We welcome and will actively seek feedback from stakeholders who have the expertise, experience and trust with a range of communities to help guide our developing response.
We have already identified a list of key stakeholders with expertise in reducing inequalities around ethnicity, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation. We will share our plans with them and ask them to comment on these and how they can be improved. These will include organisations such as Voice 4 Change, Black Thrive, Ubele, Stonewall, Disability Rights UK. Their feedback alongside many more will continue to inform our funding response and how we are communicating what we are doing.
As part of our funding response, we will explore whether funding specific groups within communities is best delivered by us directly, as part of our main funding offer, or in partnership with others.
Staff guidance and assessment
We will use our BAME, disability and LGBT+ staff networks to review staff guidance and assessment materials, and act as a network of champions so that we minimise the risk of unconscious bias when assessing applications which benefit these communities.
- Date published