More work on equality necessary, study finds 09/06/08

While intentions and rhetoric are generally strong, much work still needs to be done if charities are to achieve real social equality and diversity, according to a new study.

The report, produced by community investment foundation Olmec, determined that knowledge and support around equality and diversity were limited, performance measurement and monitoring systems needed further development, and there were “significant barriers” to implementing best practice.

The research found that while 97% of the 159 organisations questioned had a policy on diversity, more than half thought equality and diversity were not embedded in their governance, funding and communications, while only 48% said equality was an explicit part of their work plans. In addition, only 21% said they measured the outcome of their equality work.

In response to the findings, Olmec has produced a handbook entitled Guide to Equality & Diversity in the Third Sector. Commenting, its director Tanzeem Ahmed said: “Our research brought home that there’s a wealth of information on equality and diversity. ...our Guide pulls together the existing resources and helps make sense of it all, giving simple, practical steps towards adopting best practice and outlining best practice examples.”

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