We cannot create a new fairer system without addressing issues such as institutional racism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, social mobility, and patriarchal mindsets. We recognise that we have power and can use our power to influence and change attitudes. Therefore, we are on a journey of discovery and learning. We are exploring ideas where we can implement solutions to equity and social justice issues throughout our activities.
What have we done so far?
- Formed a working group.
- Drafting an equity and social justice plan.
- Reviewing our grants programme, where equity and social justice will be part of the programme.
- Developing a training programme.
- Campaigning for the ethnicity pay gap.
- Made a commitment to sharing a breakdown of staff and trustee demographics.
- Started to produce documents in alternative formats and developed metrics to monitor our progress on this.
- Developed an accessibility communications checklist.
- Invested in a tool which can translate our website into different languages and provide accessibility tools.
- Are a leading funder of the Foundation Practice Rating.
- Developing an equal opportunities policy.
Collectively, we have agreed to take a pragmatic approach. For us, this is about taking steps – the first step is to feel comfortable in equity and what it means to our organisation before we move onto justice and more radical changes. This is because working in the equity space is new to us, and we need to learn from this work before developing our approach.
Class and Social Mobility
We felt it was vital to include class and social mobility within our definition of equity and social justice, as we recognise that the UK is heavily influenced by class. The same inequitable system is still in place, from educational establishments to geographical location. For us, social class is not just about occupation but includes different forms of capital, including social, cultural and economic factors. Class can be quite fluid. As capitalism has changed, so has class, and it is this recognition and understanding which influences this strand of our work. An example of this is The Great British Class Survey (2013) – which highlighted that Britain has the following class structures:
• Elite – top 6%
• Established Middle Class 25%
• Technical Middle Class 6%
• New Affluent Worker 15%
• Traditional Working Class 14%
• Emergent Service Sector 19%
• Precariat 15%
The old terms of middle and working classes seem to be obsolete and new emerging social classes are forming. Reading these results, it suggests nearly 50% of the British population is in relatively poor economic capital.
There has been an enormous increase in economic capital for those with wealth and those who don’t. Class is still very important to consider if we wish to create an economy which is fairer and better for all.
You can find further information about class at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJQgvbava2g
What do you think of this work?
Do you have any comments or suggestions?
We would love to hear from you!