BLOG: Staff View on Equality, Diversity & Human Rights
Kate Robinson is one of the Development Officers here at Impact Funding Partners. She oversees funding to a range of organisations working to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls in all its different forms. She is a member of various working groups in the organisation including the Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Group.
In this blog she talks about the work and achievements of the Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Group...
If Coronavirus has demonstrated that as a society we are still able to look out for each other, check on our neighbours and shop for people who are shielding, it has also exposed the stark inequalities that leave some particularly vulnerable.
Since its foundation in 1982, Impact Funding Partners has developed funding programmes striving to build a fair and inclusive society where communities grow and people shape their own lives. Therefore a few years ago, it felt the right moment to establish an internal Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Group. Our priority was to build on our values and on the experience of the organisations we manage funding for. After some rewarding discussions, we have made progress but have lots more to do.
We’ve learnt a lot, from developing new policies, to hosting expert speakers and accessing training. It’s been eventful! For example, our policies on the menopause and neurodiversity will help make our organisation a more inclusive, supportive working environment.
We were all challenged recently when a speaker from Faith in Community Dundee asked us to imagine what we would spend £50 on, because that’s what some people she worked with live on for a month. We’ve taken practical steps like becoming a disability confident employer and offering interviews for disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements.
But every day in talking to funded organisations, we’re reminded of the increasingly complex external environment they operate in; the impact of austerity and inequality exacerbated by a range of factors, and now Covid-19. We hear of women who’ve experienced violence waiting many months for emotional support to start despite the best efforts of local organisations, and of the risk to mental health posed by Brexit for those who fear being left behind without a safety net. Interfaith groups report of increasing levels of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-immigration sentiments, making their work to challenge prejudice more necessary than ever.
Looking to the future could feel daunting were it not for the vision and determination we see in the organisations we work with. Individually or collectively throughout Networking Clusters*, they’re doing their bit to chip away at injustice and put equalities and human rights at the heart of everything they do. They set a high standard and constantly surprise, challenge and inspire us.
“An internal group has helped Impact Funding Partners to continue grappling with and engaging on some of the huge challenges facing our communities today. As we look to the future, we are proud to know that equality and human rights remains a top priority for our organisation”.
Impact Funding Partners Trustee, and Equality, Diversity & Human Rights group member.
*Networking Clusters encourage organisations within a fund or across our funds to form relationships and collaborate. Members work together on shared goals and explore solutions to common problems. Clusters also inform and influence national policy across different equality areas.