Almost a third of Save the Children UK workers ‘feel excluded or oppressed’

Save the Children UK has pledged to take action to improve inclusion and diversity after discovering that almost a third of people in its organisation feel excluded or oppressed.

At any one time between 20% and 30% of people in the charity feel “excluded in some way because they belong to a marginalised group”.

This is down to individual acts as well as structural issues with oppression within the organisaton, which Save the Children UK (SCUK) said “must be addressed”.

The charity has also admitted that its “policies and protocols are often misaligned with our actions, negatively affecting the experience of our people at SCUK”.

The findings have emerged as the charity sets out its strategy to improve inclusion and diversity and tackle an under representation of marginalised groups. It says it is seeking to be more “reflective of the communities we work with and for in the UK”.

SCUK research has found that its workforce is dominated by groups including those who are hetrerosexual, non-disabled, middle class, university education and white women in the 30s.

“This profile is a symptom of bias and discrimination, which both reflects and reinforces wider structures of systemic oppression and inequity, and which we must address to build a truly diverse and inclusive workplace in the UK,” says the strategy document, called Free to be me.

It has pledged to “improve diversity across our workforce through better hiring processes and new entry pathways to the organisation”.

This includes looking at work experience, internship, apprenticeship and graduate schemes and prioritising “completion of exit interviews with colleagues from maginalised groups”.

It will also carry out an “inclusivity audit of all policies and practices” to ensure recruitment and performance management is “equitable and bias free”.

SCUK is among the latest charity and voluntary sector organisations to look to tackle a lack of equality, inclusion and diversity in its organisation.

In November, Versus Arthritis reported itself to the Charity Commission over reports from staff of racism and bullying.

Meanwhile, in August the NCVO pledged to address its “structurally racist organisation”.

Latest figures revealed last month showed that BAME charity staff earn on average of 20% less than non-BAME staff, which is worse than the previous year, when the gap was 18%.

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