Women's charities call off merger talks

The Fawcett Society and the Young Women’s Trust have called off merger talks.

Thewomen’s charities announced in November they were in exploratory talks about a possible merger.

But in a statement today, the charities said the talks had not shown that a merger would significantly improve the impact the organisations would have, so they had decided to remain “as friends and partners”.

The joint statement from Jo-ann Robertson and Fiona Mactaggart, chair of the Young Women's Trust and The Fawcett Society respectively, said the merger talks had been “positive, productive and useful”.

But they said: “After considerable discussion, we identified many advantages to merging, but ultimately did not find enough evidence that a merger would significantly enhance the impact the respective charities have and we will instead continue to work closely together as friends and partners.

“In the current environment there remains significant work to be done to address gender inequality.

“Both organisations will ensure their focus is on making the greatest impact possible through working closely with each other and other partners to create true equality for all women and girls.”

The Fawcett Society is a membership charity that campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights. It employs 12 staff.

The Young Women’s Trust was the YWCA and then spent less than three years as Platform 51 before adopting its current name in 2013. It has 27 employees.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of The Fawcett Society, announced last July she would be stepping down to rebalance her working and family life, while Sophie Walker, who had led the Young Women's Trust since last year, left the charity last year to take up a role she “could not refuse”.

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