Feeling that déjà vu
It’s National Inclusion week this week and so, naturally, I find myself musing on the topic.
In a decade of working in the social impact, lots of things have changed. New technologies have emerged, as have new words (“user voice”, “lived experience” and “experts by experience” to name just a few), and of course new ways of working (hello Zoom and the joys of the home office).
When it comes to diversity and inclusion though, I often find myself feeling that déjà vu. Haven’t we been here before? Haven’t we done this before? As a woman of colour, navigating the social impact sector has at times, been challenging.
A razor sharp focus
From the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on ethnic minority communities, to the Black Lives Matter movement, 2020 has brought into razor sharp focus the inequalities in our society. At times, the conversation equality has felt exhausting, but not as exhausting as the realities we face.
According to the last UK census in, 14% of the UK’s population is non-white. Research indicates that only 3% of charity Chief Executives are from ethnic minority backgrounds, rising to 9% in the social investment sector (though if you’re an ethnic minority woman, 2.8%).
I could dig deeper into these stats, I could, but I won't. What I will say is, how can we hope to represent the society we’re here to support – and how can we speak confidently to our users – if we’re not like them in our make-up? How can we make decisions that include everyone if we don’t share the same diverse experiences of life in the UK today? We need to reflect the communities we are here to serve, across every level, function and facet of our organisations.
The question we have been asking ourselves at Good Finance is how do we stop diversity and inclusion from being just buzzwords? How do we make inclusion an action? How do we walk the walk?
We developed a Diversity and Inclusion plan in March 2019, and after a year working towards its implementation, we’ve now reviewed and refreshed it. You can find it here.
In it, we hold ourselves accountable to embedding diversity and inclusion across our work and our team.
Let's start with an open call to you...
We’re also today sharing an open call to our users, social investors and potential partners to get in touch with us.
If you’re a Good Finance user, whoever and wherever you are, know that we are first and foremost user led. We’re here to support you navigate the world of social investment, and your experiences and opinions drive our work.
We also want our online content (blog posts, case studies, social media) to champion diversity and inclusion. We’re on a mission to showcase the lesser heard version of events and share our platform with the voices and faces that we sometimes don’t see or hear.
If you are a user with something to share or a social investee from a marginalised background, please do get in touch - we would love to hear from you.
Good Finance, as an educational platform, does not directly make or influence social investment decisions. However, we recognise our role in the sector and we’re here to collaborate, support and share knowledge, especially when it comes to this topic.
We will champion your diversity and inclusion initiatives that improve accessibility for our users. If you’re a social investor with a programme or initiative that you’d like us to share, get in touch or submit a case study here.
Partners and stakeholders
We are making a conscious effort to improve and expand our partnerships when it comes to marketing, outreach and events. Again, the goal is to improve accessibility to our online and offline work.
To our potential partners - we are really keen to work with and learn from you. We want to build and improve on our delivery and engage with a wider range of people. If you can help us do that, and act as our critical friend, we’d love to hear from you.
More than a buzzword
For us here at Good Finance, diversity and inclusion are so much more than buzzwords.
Diversity is an intention, a conscious action, a continual improvement. Inclusion is accountability, learning, championing, a voice at the table, failing and trying again. A newer term in this context, equity, is about progressing from the current narrative, learning and growing, tackling inequalities and imbalances head on.
Diversity and inclusion isn’t just about business done well. It is about our lives, our experiences, our work, our health, our family and our friends. We know we’re not there yet, we know the sector has some way to go, but we also know we’re not done trying.
Today we’re calling on all of you, our users, our partners, and social investors - join us.