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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Social Value

Equality and inclusion are the goals of Social Value UK. Throughout 2020, the SVUK team, board and membership have been working in numerous different ways to prioritise, review and action our organisational approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

To be the best we can be at supporting these goals, we need a board, organisation and membership fit for that purpose; not just in expertise, but in diversity.   The overall purpose of our diversity strategy is:

To achieve our mission and vision, we need to properly represent the stakeholders that experience inequality, poor wellbeing and environmental degradation. 

The best way to represent this diversity is for those people to be present and able to progress in our board, staff and membership, and for them to feel they can be themselves, that they are valued and that they belong. This work has and will always be important, however, the inequalities exacerbated by and made more visible during 2020 with the global crises in health, climate, and social justice make this work even more urgent. For example, many people and organisations were rightly spurred to action, or greater action, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement earlier in 2020. SVUK’s own response is available here.

Focus of the work:

The focus of this work will be on the agreed protected characteristics in the UK as outlined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Equality Act 2010, but we will also include socio-economic status which we recognise as a factor affecting equality throughout the UK. 

The Equality approach is aligned to the overall objectives that were jointly agreed with the Board and Council in 2019 :

Who? How? What? Why? Vision
Through People, Principles, Practice, and power, change the way society accounts for value A world where organisations are accountable for their impact on people and where decisions are made to improve wellbeing, equality and the environment  
Diverse membership Membership journeys Services that influence decisions Campaign on policy and regulation Global conversations Empower members Mobilise a movement
Staff, Board, Council and sub-groups Fit for purpose

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion objectives:

The specific Equality, Diversity and Inclusion objectives have been defined in alignment to these overall organisational objectives:


Diverse membership and governance

  1. Review Board recruitment and recruit a more diverse Board, launched at AGM September 2020.
  2. Monitor membership diversity and set goals and targets for representation.
  3. Engage membership in the conversation and identify ways of including different groups, such as young people.
  4. Consider setting up a Task and Finish group to implement.


Be fit for purpose and provide developmental journeys

  1. Review governance and structure, utilising opportunities such as the council and AGM to look at equality.  Engaging in other ways besides committees and provide paid travel and time costs.
  2. Have transparent data and KPIs of diversity that support decision making about equality.
  3. Taking responsibility for people’s experiences – as a membership organisation, we hear what people say in an open and inclusive way, seeking to understand and are open to challenge. 
  4. Map the journey from people working in/with/as part of communities on the ground, to practitioners, members, staff, board.
  5. Set boundaries on international work


Influential services and campaigns in the UK and globally

  1. Appropriate communication and language and space for conversations and debate.
  2. Ensure equality, diversity and inclusion training is a theme incorporated into SROI training and certification.
  3. Balancing commercial decisions with values.


Empowered members and a collective movement

  1. Building a movement is participatory (recognising that we do this well). Get feedback on decision making, conferences, training, staff experience and other services, asking those people who are affected.

Steps so far:

A brief timeline of the development of this work is outlined below:

  • Developed a Gender, Inclusion and Impact Management members working group in 2018
  • Started work looking at SVUK organisational practice more broadly in Autumn 2019 with a gender focus
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training for Board and Staff was undertaken in summer 2020 with Innervision
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion update included in the Sept 2020 SVUK AGM announcing plans to recruit a more diverse board.
  • Creation of a specific Task and Finish group to support five areas of work to address under-representation in SVUK.

EDI Task and Finish Group:

The EDI Task and Finish Group was convened at the beginning of October.  The purpose of the group is to support:

  1. Development of a new process for Board recruitment
  2. Engaging and communicating with the membership and other stakeholders
  3. Monitoring membership diversity – data and KPIs
  4. Reviewing SVUK services from a diversity perspective
  5. Reviewing governance more broadly

The group includes people from the Board, staff, Council and membership and will:

  • Participate in up to four online meetings in the next six to nine months
  • Represent an under-represented group
  • Review written materials

Full Terms of Reference of the group can be here[ 

The group will follow the Seven Principle of Public Life: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Openness, Honesty, Leadership.

Group Members:

Name SVUK relationship Job Email
Catherine Manning (she) Staff SVUK, Operations Manager  
Mandy Barnett (she) Board and lead on diversity strategy MB Associates, Director
Ruth Wateley (she) Member PwC | Community Engagement Impact Analyst | Inclusion, Community & Wellbeing Team
Wesley Ankrah (he) Member Seerbridge, Managing Director  


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