The UK’s charitable sector hires fewer people from ethnic minority backgrounds when compared to the national average across the UK workforce.
According to a new report published by the RACE Report campaign, a UK-wide data transparency initiative aimed at encouraging environmental charities and funders to improve the racial and ethnic diversity of their workforce and governing bodies, six per cent of charitable sector employees identify as being from a racial or ethnic minority background. By comparison, 15 per cent of the UK workforce identifies as ethnic minority.
The report urges “rapid action” to address a lack of representation that goes against the diversity of the modern British workforce. However, data suggests that a higher proportion of organisations have either fully or partially implemented inclusion-boosting initiatives over the past year, versus 2022.
Findings also investigated staff perceptions. The majority of 12,900 employees questioned agreed that their charitable organisation actively identifies and opposes racism through its work policies; however, white identities were more likely to agree with this statement than their colleagues from minority backgrounds.
Employees from minority groups referenced instances of being overlooked and feeling isolated at work, while others felt valued by their team but not through remuneration or career progression.
Those from white backgrounds cited a lack of diversity in their organisation to issues within recruitment processes, such as unconscious bias and placing too great an emphasis on past volunteering experience.
Manu Maunganidze from the Race Report team said reflection is paramount on what the data says, “but also really listening to the lived experiences of the individuals who power our sector.”
“It’s only through having these difficult conversations, learning from each other, and implementing inclusive practices that we’ll ensure next year’s report tells a story of both an appetite for change and tangible improvement,” he added.
Shafi Musaddique is the news editor at Alliance magazine