On 15 June 2020 Debra Allcock Tyler, DSC CEO, wrote an article on our commitment to equality and diversity.
So what have we been doing since this?
Since that article was written, over two years ago, as an organisation we engaged external consultants to conduct a review, the results of which gave us an understanding of where we are and what the next steps could be. As a result of the review we understood that although staff were generally happy, there was still more we could do in regard to EEDI.
We revisited our policies and procedures – reviewing and updating existing ones with our EEDI hats on as well as creating a new Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. The whole organisation, including trustees, were inducted on the new policy. In addition, a half-day training course was delivered to all staff on stepping up to meaningful conversations and actions.
It was also agreed a staff survey would be conducted at least twice a year, the first of which took place in November 2021. We also delivered some free-to-attend panel discussions for the sector, with an emphasis on racism within the sector. Part one of Racism: Not in our Sector took place on 12 August 2020, and part two took place on 9 December 2020, free to all delegates who attended.
We have also created an internal working group to oversee our work on EEDI. This group is chaired by a trustee and has members from all levels of DSC (trustees, senior management and general staff). This group has created terms of reference for the group and, using feedback from everyone at DSC, finalised 3 key aims for our EEDI work, and we are currently deciding the actions under each of these aims.
The three key aims are:
Aim 1: Place to work: DSC is a welcoming, friendly, inclusive and safe place for our staff, volunteers, trustees, associates and sub-contractors to work.
Aim 2: Services we provide: DSC is a welcoming, friendly, inclusive and safe place for all those we serve in the sector, where how we promote, discuss and deliver our work is reflective of our values.
Aim 3: Pioneering: DSC is recognised as an exemplar in practice and excellence in the delivery of EEDI, with this knowledge and practices woven into all we do at DSC and shared with the sector.
We have also reviewed our recruitment practices and introduced new, more inclusive processes that help to ensure no unconscious biases exist when recruiting (blind CV’s etc).
Externally, for the sector, we have provided training on gender-neutral language, developed and offered more external programmes around EEDI, recruitment and development of staff and a whole online conference in September 2022 on diversity.
Daily all-staff check-in
Lastly, we have daily morning check-ins, where we openly discuss daily topical issues happening in the sector and society in general, amongst other things.
Staff have mentioned in feedback how much they value these discussions, and the opportunity to have difficult conversations openly with empathy and respect.
What we have done so far is just the beginning of our EDDI journey, and we are in no way confused about how much more we can do and want to do. But it is not a race, it is a journey, and we are doing this as an organisation with input from all DSC staff and we are all committed to making lasting ever-growing change.
We will continue to update you on our journey whilst sharing everything we can. Our programme of seminars, events and guidance has helped charities to address their own EEDI challenges and create more positive and inclusive environments for their staff and beneficiaries. You can view more information on our EDDI and Wellbeing Hub here.
You can view our EEDI policy here.