The fundraising profession must get its house in order on sexual harassment, Amanda Bringans, chair of the Institute of Fundraising, has said.
Speaking at the opening session of the IoF’s annual convention in central London this morning, Bringans told delegates that she was calling on "each and every one of them" to help ensure fundraisers were free from sexual harassment in their workplaces.
Bringans, who is director of fundraising at the British Heart Foundation, said she was "personally committed to ensuring the institute plays its role to the fullest possible extent" in combating sexual harassment.
"We’re a profession of predominantly women – 76 per cent – but women are not proportionately represented at senior levels," she said. "But more than that, many have experience sexual harassment."
She said that, although she believed the fundraising community was dedicated to fighting injustice, championing equality and giving voice to the voiceless, "we have all heard too many stories recently of fundraisers, women in particular, who have faced sexual harassment in their profession".
Bringans said: "We must get our house in order. Every single current and future fundraiser needs to be safe, and feel safe, in their working environments.
"I call on each and every one of you to make that a reality in every fundraising environment in the whole of the UK."
Although she said she was proud of the IoF’s work on diversity, equality and inclusion over the past year, she added that there was more to do. She pointed out that there were disproportionally few BAME fundraisers and the sector needed to ensure that LGBT+ fundraisers could proudly be themselves at work.