Board Diversity

“ Knowledge and life experience brought from the community adds a different dynamic and perspective. There is a richness and breadth that comes from harnessing the energy of those that come from different walks of life” – Ranjula Takodra MBE (Member of the Buckinghamshire Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network)

Behind each group or charity is a board of trustees.  This provides  a framework to ensure that the organisation meets the needs of its beneficiaries.

All voluntary groups have a responsibility to ensure that they reflect the communities they serve.  In reality, only 41% of charity boards are representative of the communities they help, and only 9.6% of trustees in 100 major UK charities are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

A diverse range of individuals can make a board or committee stronger and more effective. To help you build a diverse charity board or management committee,  read the 6 key resources below plus further reading, or book a free one to one Advice Plus session.

Also have a look at our 6 key reads to strengthen your board and the best places to advertise your trustee roles.

Image courtesy of Wycombe Homeless Connection

Different aspects of board diversity: video shorts - Penny Wilson, CEO Getting on Board

In these bite-sized videos, Penny Wilson talks about:

  • Why diversify your board?
  • How to diversify your board
  • Barriers to diversifying your board
  • Tips on shortlisting for diversity
  • Inclusion of diverse trustees
  • Trustee adverts
  • Finding trustees you need.

The importance of board diversity: a video and blog

Geetha Rabindrakumar shares her reflections and tips on the importance of diversity on the board and how to get it right, and on encouraging people with diversity of background and experience to give trusteeship a go .

Read Getha’s blog on trustee diversity.

Video and copy courtesy of Reach Volunteering.

7 steps to take straight away

Getting on Board’s 7 steps that charity leaders (trustees and senior managers) can take straight away to help improve diversity on their boards.  Join their #BoardRevolution.

How to recruit trustees for your charity: a practical guide

A comprehensive eight step guide to recruiting trustees from Getting on Board.  Pages 17-18:  how organisations should move beyond what skills are required to also discuss what diversity of experience, social and geographical background, and protected characteristics would enhance their boards.

Action for trustee racial diversity

A campaign aiming to make it easier for those organisations who genuinely want to recruit Black and Asian trustees to do so.  Further information about the campaign and how to get involved.

Charity Governance Awards: 2019 board diversity and inclusivity winner

What SignHealth achieved, and why they won.

Additional resources

Charity Governance Code

Diversity is the 6th of the 7 principles in the Charity Governance Code – a practical tool to help trustees achieve high standards of governance.

Diversity in Governance: the what, why and how

This paper from NPC outlines what it means to have a truly diverse board of trustees and what it brings to an organisation. It explores how to manage and maintain a diverse board.

Who is sitting round your board table?

Excellent guidance from Janet Thorne, Chief Executive at Reach Volunteering, about what helps, and also hinders, the recruitment of a strong, diverse Board.

Racial diversity in the charity sector – principles and recruitment practice

A report by ACEVO and the Institute of Fundraising urges charities to prioritise increasing diversity in their workforces in order to prevent groupthink, generate more income, operate more creatively and attract the best talent.

Charities: inclusive governance

This research from Inclusive Boards highlights that whilst the gender gap at board level is narrow compared to other sectors, there is still an imbalance at the top compared to the overall make-up of the workforce.

Walking the talk on diversity

This research briefing from NPC presents its findings on:

  • What’s holding the charity sector back from improving its diversity
  • How we can increase diversity and inclusion in the charity sector.

Young Trustees Movement

A key aim is to double the number of trustees aged 30 and under on charity boards by 2024 (while the spotlight is on the age factor, the movement is part of a wider call for diversity on boards). Further information.