Equity, diversity & inclusion at Contact

Becoming an anti-racist organisation

"The seismic events of 2020 have brought home the urgent need for us to do more at Contact, to ensure we are an organisation that is actively striving for greater equity, diversity and inclusion for our families and our colleagues.

"Over the summer of 2020, as an organisation, we began looking at how we can change and do better. We have set up a race equality working group, with the specific aim of becoming an anti-racist organisation. This group has been established to identify actions we need to take to move our collective understanding of the issues faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the UK, as well as working on an action plan for the next 12 months (September 20-21) and beyond to ensure we make real progress towards our goal of being anti-racist at Contact.

"This is very much a work in progress, and we are taking the time to learn, reflect and challenge ourselves, and avoid rushing to conclusions. We are committed to this process in the long-term, in order to create the structural changes required to make sure Contact is striving towards achieving equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels of our organisation."

Chris Carr, Chair of Trustees

Leadership principles

We sign up to ACEVO's eight principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership, namely:

  1. Acknowledging that there is a problem with racial diversity in the charity sector and commit to working to change that.
  2. Recognising the important role leaders have in creating change by modelling positive behaviour and taking action.
  3. Learning about racial bias and how it impacts leadership decisions.
  4. Committing to setting permanent and minimum targets for diversity that reflects the participants, donors, beneficiaries and the population of the area that my charity operates in.
  5. Committing to action and invest resources, where necessary, in order to improve racial diversity in my charity.
  6. Viewing staff as the sum of many parts rather than a single entity and recruiting to build a diverse group of talented people collectively working towards a shared vision.
  7. Recruiting for potential, not perfection.
  8. Valuing lived experience, the ability to draw from one's lived experience and to bring insights to an organisation that can develop its work.

Race equality action plan

We are all committed to Contact becoming a truly inclusive organisation. The race equality working group has identified the following priorities for the next 12 months (up to September 2021):

Leadership and awareness

  1. Arrange for all staff and trustees to complete unconscious bias/anti-racism training.
  2. Ask Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues what would support them in Contact; including consulting on whether to set up a network for sharing experiences, opinions, concerns and ideas.
  3. Work towards a more diverse Board of Trustees, which is more accessible in the way it operates; and work towards a more diverse Senior Management Team.

Our staff team

  1. Refresh our Recruitment Policy to be more actively anti-racist.
  2. Review and expand our Diversity Policy, so that it is clear on the behaviours we won't tolerate, and routes for complaint

External communications

  1. Ensure that the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic families are reflected in our campaigns; as part of this work explore potential funding and partners for research into health inequalities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, to inform campaign/policy work.
  2. Ensuring our communications, imagery and case studies are representative.

Governance and accountability for this work

  1. Embed clear data gathering processes for families and colleagues, to support the progression of race equality at Contact.
  2. Ensuring we have Black, Asian and minority ethnic parent representatives on the race equality working group overseeing this plan.
  3. Include race equality plan targets in our strategy, and report on progress.
  4. Agree the terms of an organisational audit to assess progress and inform next steps.

Each objective is led by a staff task group, and we will be reporting on progress on a quarterly basis. Oversight of this programme of work sits with the Board, with a reporting structure from the race equality working group to the full Board of Trustees.