Recruiting for Diversity

In an event we hosted on recruiting for diversity, we heard from Campaign Bootcamp, Diverse City and Women in Prison who shared their experiences as well as good practice examples for organisations looking to improve on diversity and inclusion.

There have been some negative stories about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the charitable sector lately. But we know there is fantastic practice going on in the organisations we fund, so we set up an event to listen and learn from them.

The event took place in London on 30 January 2019. Listen to each 10 minute speech by Campaign Bootcamp, Women in Prison and Diverse City, below, or read the transcript. We also recorded the Q&A session with the speakers, hosted by Heather Salmon who is a funding officer here at Esmée, as well as an associate of the 2027 programme

Sophie Yates-Lu talks about Campaign Bootcamp's approach to recruiting participants, how they go about being as inclusive and accessible as possible, and gives her three top tips. Read the full transcript.

Sophie's key points
  • Don't led your strategy be led by easy-to-reach audiences
  • Speak to the communities you want to reach, and value their advice with payment
  • Accessibility is non-negotiable - and it's not an end point, there's always more you could do
  • You will make mistakes, make sure you listen, reflect on them and grow as a result

Claire Hodgson from Diverse City talks about how they diversified their board of trustees, the barriers and opportunities as she sees them, and why we should all beware 'experience'! Read the full transcript

I would really caution when people say these sentences: “we need someone with experience”, “we can’t take a risk with this post”. I’ve heard those a lot in my career. It usually means that people want someone who looks like the people who are already there.

Claire's key points
  • A board can be really efficient and effective if the people on it have no previous experience of governance
  • Find people you think are brilliant, but might not know what being part of a board is like, or what benefit they might get from, as well as give to, an organisation
  • Remove the barriers to participation on your board - pay childcare expenses, book travel
  • Question the way things have been done - who invented how boards work?
  • Move into new networks where we know no-one - it's cognitive diversity that we most need 

Kate Paradine from Women in Prison shares some of their challenges and breakthroughs, and gives a really thoughtful analysis of how to move forward. Read the full transcript

Kate's key points
  • Diversity shouldn't be low on our to-do list. It shouldn't even be on our to-do list, it should be a given
  • We need to invest together in targeted recruitment of those that are under-represented in our sectors
  • We have to get comfortable confronting uncomfortable conversations

Finally, our funding officer, Heather Salmon chaired a discussion on how to be more inclusive at every level, featuring questions and comments from the Esmée-funded organisations in the audience. Read the full transcript