Charities failing on diversity, says survey

Many charities are failing to deliver on their commitments to diversity and equality, according to research by community investment foundation Olmec.

A report based on the survey of 159 sector organisations says that intentions and rhetoric regarding equality and diversity are generally strong, but delivery – in terms of employment practice and service delivery – is often hampered by limited knowledge and support and crude performance measurement and monitoring systems.

It says 97 per cent of organisations have a policy on diversity and 80 per cent believe equality and diversity are explicit in their organisational goals, but only 21 per cent measure the outcome of their equality work. When asked about barriers to better practice, respondents cited lack of time and funding, embedded bad practice and ignorance of the law and the meaning of equality and diversity.

Olmec has also launched a free Guide to Equality & Diversity in the Third Sector to address the issues its survey uncovered. Tanzeem Ahmed, director of Olmec, said the foundation pulled together a range of existing resources rather than producing new material.

"Our research brought it home to us that there's such a wealth of information on equality and diversity out there that many organisations feel overwhelmed by it and don't know where to start," he said.

The guide will also be available on the Olmec website and can also be ordered in CD or paper form by calling 020 7091 9480.

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