Lack of diversity still blighting charity recruitment, warns survey

A survey of charities about their recruitment practices has raised questions around the sector’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

A survey of representatives of 300 charities has found that only 46% are asking for an equal opportunities or diversity monitoring information from those applying for roles.

In addition, the survey found that only just over a half (59%) are committed to diversity on interview panels for candidates, by including members with one or more protected characteristics.

Protected characteristics are types of discrimination such as around age, gender reassignment, being pregnant, with a disability or based on ethnicity.

Only 3% of charities had recruited someone because they had a protected characteristic.

Elsewhere, the survey found that only 53% stated a commitment to diversity and only one in ten set diversity targets for recruitment.

In addition, 12% of charities are not including a salary in the job advert.

Showing the salary is vital to promoting diversity, according to the #ShowtheSalary campaign, which ran from 2020 to 2021 and challenged charities that did not specify salary details.

The campaign said that ‘salary secrecy’ can perpetuate wage gaps and increase the risk of discrimination in the workplace. Hundreds of charities have signed up to its pledge around wage transparency.

Other findings from the survey, which was carried out by online recruitment platform CharityJob, are that only 5% set targets and quotas for diversity in their shortlist or long lists for roles.

Also, just 9% ensure they remove gendered language and only 32% used anonymous recruitment practices.

Despite charities commitment to diversity being called into question, most (83%) respondents believe their recruitment techniques are effective.

CVs are still the most common way to recruit among charities, used be 69% of charities. More than half (55%) asked for a covering letter or an application form (51%).

“We wanted to run this research to find out how charities recruit so we can see how much further we have to go, and what else we can do to help,” said Charity Job co-founders Steve and Raya Wexler.

“Fairness matters in all recruitment, but especially to charities who need to reflect the communities that they help.”

In December Penny Wilson, chief of executive of trustee recruitment charity Getting on Board, told Charity Times that “most of the organisations in our sector still haven’t got the memo on diversity.”

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