Macmillan Cancer Support promises to tackle its ‘problem with diversity’

The chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support has pledged to take action to ensure the organisation is promoting diversity and inclusion in its support for beneficiaries and recruitment of staff, especially in senior roles.

Lynda Thomas has admitted that “there’s no denying that Macmillan, like the wider charity sector, has a problem with the diversity of its workforce, especially at a leadership level”.

She also said that the charity will have a commitment to “shifting support and engaging people from diverse communities”.

The commitment has been made by Thomas as she announced an equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, setting out pledges for the charity over the next four years.

“It all starts with our organisational culture and leadership,” said Thomas.

“Because ultimately everything we want to do for people living with cancer starts with who we are and how we behave. We want to be representative at all levels of our organisation and ensure everyone who works with or supports us, feels they belong.”

Action over the next four years includes investing in targeted leadership training, overhauling recruitment policies “to root out ingrained bias” and setting targets on recruiting underrepresented groups within the charity.

In addition, the charity is to review its communications to ensure it is representing a diversity of communities as well as “challenging the stereotypes and tropes that we unknowingly might perpetuate”, said Thomas.

Thomas added: “Whilst we have a way to go on this both as an organisation and a sector, I want to see people from a diverse range of backgrounds nurtured and flourishing into the future leaders our sector so badly needs.”

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