EDI Update 2022: Our progress so far
Since we started our journey in January 2021 to explore how we could become a more inclusive organisation, we have accomplished a number of things we are really proud of. We still have goals to achieve, and even more to set, but here’s a summary of our journey so far.
Following our external EDI Audit, we updated some of our policies and processes. These included changes such as:
- Making explicit references to EDI rather than implicit comments
- Including more positive and proactive language instead of ‘do nots’
- More inclusive language, such as removing gender specific references
- Made more of our policies downloadable from our website
- We added more thoughtful comments about accessibility to our committee terms of references, to ensure our meetings are suitable for anyone who attends to participate fully.
- After a professional audit, we made significant changes to our website to increase accessibility and have been more mindful about the images and language we use to communicate who we are and who we support.
- We re-designed our approach to recruiting trustees to our Board. We recruited three new board members through open advertising and interview panel. This was the first time KCF had brought on new trustees in this way and it was a resounding success. The diversity of our board has been increased in a number of different ways and we are looking forward to recruiting again through the same method in 2023.
Where did we not meet our own expectations?
We had hoped the staff team and Board might undertake some formal training in EDI awareness. We admit that during a very busy year, we did not manage to achieve this, but it is still on our action plan for 2023 and we hope to find some great courses to inspire our team with. This does not mean to say our knowledge has not increased, there have been so many informal chances to learn more about our communities and the release of KCF’s Needs Analysis report was eye opening. The conference that followed was also a great chance to learn more about our county and we hope that everyone who took part felt that it was an inclusive and open space to learn from others.
What have we learnt?
The challenge of being a charity that serves the whole of the voluntary sector in Kent is that representing all of our communities is complex. Our team cannot represent all the ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, economic groups and neuro diversities in the county, but what we can strive to do is be a place that is open and safe for all those groups and more. We hope to be accessible in practice and nature and learn more about the diversity of our county rather than try be something we are not.
We need to continue to position ourselves to attract different types of people with different stories and make our strategic thinking more diverse. This requires participation from our service users and we are implementing surveys and meetings with key stakeholders in order to make sure we know what is it you need from us.
Our main goals moving forward are:
- Increasing stakeholder feedback and participation
- Increasing understanding and awareness of the various groups in our county
- Increasing how accessible we are in terms of technology, language and physical participation in events etc
- Continuing to be more inclusive in how we recruit our trustees and staff
- Improving our internal policies to make sure we consider how they affect the people they serve
If you have any comments or suggestions you would like us to hear, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “EDI Update” in the subject line.