From education to employment

The EY Foundation reveals research on the charity sector on diversity, equality and inclusion

@EY_Foundation: A nationwide survey of 1,000 young people from low-income households has for the first time revealed some of the data behind the charity sector’s record on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The research, commissioned by social mobility charity The EY Foundation, was carried out by Savanta/ComRes. In addition, Bayes Business School’s ‘Centre for Charity Effectiveness’ reviewed published research on the issue and concluded that the non-profit sector has lower levels of diversity than other sectors of the economy, with ethnicity and socio-economic background having a significant impact on the level of representation in the sector.

The survey found the most common reasons identified by those who wouldn’t consider working in the sector included:

  • 25% don’t know where to search for and apply for jobs
  • 24% think there are poor opportunities to develop a career
  • 23% think there is a poor variety of different job roles in the charity sector
  • 20% believe charities do not pay staff fairly or offer good benefits and flexibility

‘Anecdotally, diversity, equity and inclusion in the charity sector is known to be an issue but this is one of the first pieces of research to look closely at the data,’ said Interim co-CEO Jodie McNally.

‘We hope the survey results and the additional analysis from the Bayes Business School will encourage charities, including ourselves, to look at how we become more accessible to a broader range of young people and address the barriers that have been identified.

‘Recruitment and retention appear to be a particular issue, with diversity not prioritised and no sector-wide push to take ambitious action,’ she added.

The research flagged several ways to encourage consideration of a career in the charity sector.

  • 51% said improved pay, benefits and flexibility
  • 35% wanted to have better understanding of the job opportunities that are available
  • 24% identified the need for clear progression routes
  • 23% wanted better understanding of where to search for and apply for vacancies

‘The good news is that 42% of respondents said they trust and have confidence in charities. 70% of young people know they could pursue a career in professional functions such as human resources, legal services, strategy and governance, finance and communication,’ said McNally.

‘And while only 7% currently work in the sector, 40% said they would be interested in a career in the sector.

‘This is a great place to start. The EY Foundation would like to collaborate with organisations who share our commitment to tackling this issue and develop new actions that achieve a meaningful impact across the sector.’

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