What’s more, diversity does not appear to be prioritised as an issue that should be addressed, with the absence of a sector-wide push to take ambitious action, particularly on embedding good diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practice to attract and retain young people as employees.
As a charity that supports young people from low-income backgrounds into work, we are especially interested young people’s ambitions and perceptions of the sector.
So, we commissioned a nationwide survey by Savanta/ComRes with 1,000 16-24-year-olds from households with an income under £16,000 (households with an income below £16,190 are eligible for free school meals), to better understand how many people from low-income backgrounds want to work in the sector.
This showed that:
Why isn’t this interest translating into a more diverse workforce? The most common reasons identified by those who wouldn’t consider working in the sector included:
You can access the full report here.
How do we widen accessibility? As a starting point, the survey flagged several ways to encourage consideration of a career in the charity sector:
Our response shouldn’t default to commissioning more research or setting new targets. We must look at why existing ambitions to become more diverse aren’t leading to change at the speed we want. The focus should move on from relying on goal setting, to taking action that secures meaningful change.
Some of the areas we’d like to explore include:
The EY Foundation has as much to learn as any other charity and we want to collaborate with organisations who share our commitment to tackling this issue and welcome the opportunity to develop new actions that achieve a meaningful impact across the sector.
If this sounds like you, then please reach out and get in touch.