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Equality

Foundation Practice Rating

Friends Provident Foundation, as an initiator of the Foundation Practice Rating (FPR), is proud of the impact it is having in our sector. We all need to improve in the three pillars of accountability, transparency, and diversity.

Overall, we received a B grade. Despite this result, there is a lot for us to do to learn from the FPR process and we have benefitted from this examination, identifying areas which need improvement.

Our website did not have:

  • a diversity strategy/plan
  • a breakdown of the diversity of staff or trustees (common across most Foundations), nor a published plan to increase (or maintain) the diversity of staff or trustees
  • any way for a potential applicant who is sight-disabled to contact us
  • a mechanism for reporting malpractice
  • a set of actions we will take because of the feedback we gather (and publish annually) from our partners
  • documentation in alternative formats
  • not publishing in Welsh.

 

Before the FPR we established an equity and social justice working group (made up of a mixture of trustees and staff). We have been developing projects to increase our impact in equity and social justice, as we see it as an important strand towardsa fair economyand better world. We are aware that we have not made this work public and have made a commitment to be more transparent in this area by developing a website page – this will be made available soon.

Not publishing a diversity plan has generated reflections and discussions within the team. We have often talked about our commitment to equity and social justice and have written blogs and papers covering these topics, however we have not centeralised all these ideas into one place or made them publicly available. We are therefore committing ourselves to publish our diversity plan when it is ready.

Additionally, we do not publish our staff or board of trustees’ identities, this could lead to assumptions of someone’s identity through their biographies and pictures. We are taking steps to rectify this by doing an anonymous survey of staff and trustees, which includes data on gender, disability, race, as recommend, and we will include class.

We are still in discussions about if we should publish targets on diversity. We feel that targets can be arbitrary, and we need to focus on the culture of the organisation being a welcoming, open, and diverse place. Equity and social justice is at the heart of our strategy and embedded in all our work. As a small organisation we feel that targets for an organisation of our size are not appropriate or useful.

The report also showed the lack of diverse options for people to apply for grants and we have set in motions tools to change this, as part of our wider grants review. This includes an accessibility plugin, ensuring alt text is on our images and meeting WCAG 2.1 guidelines. We also fund in Wales however we do not publish in Welsh. The plugin we are using can translate our website into Welsh.

We have more to learn about equity and social justice and we are developing a training programme based on equity and social justice to improve our awareness and decision-making.

Finally, the feedback might have seemed daunting at first, but as the report highlights every criterion can be achieved. The FPR has highlighted the need for our sector to adapt and move faster or we could be left behind. The work takes time to plan, execute, review, and reflect to make improvement. This fundamentally is about improving our practices and we can only do this through learning. We are looking forward to being reassessed again.