by Kate Allen, CEO
Autism at Kingwood has a solid reputation for being a kind and authentic support provider and employer.
I am proud to say, with confidence, that we welcome people from different backgrounds into our team and we don’t actively discriminate. We work hard to ensure that everyone we employ and everyone we support has access to the same opportunities, regardless to difference. However, we also recognise that people from minority groups may benefit from additional measures to be, and feel, better included.
Autism is a lifelong condition that affects people differently therefore it is perhaps obvious that the best support would be provided by a workforce made up of different backgrounds with different experiences and viewpoints to share. Difference allows for innovation, ideas and expertise; all that bring benefits to people we support and the charity.
Standing alongside our values framework, my role as CEO is to look internally at our culture to ensure we are accessible for all groups and communities; that we are equitable in our all our practices and that we break down barriers where we can.
What is Autism at Kingwood going to do?
Autism at Kingwood has a comprehensive Equality Opportunities Policy that is extended further with clear guidance around the provision of a Positive Working Environment. Our policy can be found here: Equal Opportunities and Positive Working Environment Policies
We provide training during our induction programme on discrimination, equality and diversity; discussing the significance of happiness and personal well-being in the workplace. The Senior Leadership and Management Teams have completed Equality & Diversity training within the last 12 months (2020) to ensure it remains at the forefront of practice.
Yet research, people’s experiences and data all evidence that there is room for improved diversity within the charitable sector.
Autism at Kingwood has joined the collaboration Racial Equality Matters to feed our learning and drive improvements not just across our organisation but all areas where we as a charity and/or individual can influence change.
Driving that change personally, I have signed up to the ACEVO (Assoc. of CEs of Voluntary Organisations) 8 principles on challenging and changing diversity in the charity sector.
The actions identified in this statement are positive steps towards personal and organisation learning, listening and doing.
- A programme of learning on unconscious bias will be rolled out across the organisation with all members of the Senior Leadership and Management teams achieved by the end of 2021
- The charity’s existing Equal Opportunities Policy will be reviewed and extended by 31st March 2021 to support the movement for improvement in diversity and inclusion.
- In order to make more positive steps towards improving our diversity and becoming more inclusive, we will actively seek the views of those groups who govern us, who we employ and who we support.
- We will share the results of our diversity statistics on our website by 1st June 2021, and will agree 2 year targets with our HR Committee on 15th June 2021, presenting to our Board of Trustees on 1st July 202. Thereafter data will be reviewed annually.
Recruitment of trustees is by an open selection process and one where people from ethnic minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, there are some areas where the diversity make-up of the Board could be improved.
- Our first step towards improving trustee diversity is the completion of an EDI audit in January 2021.
- On the back of that audit the Chairman and CEO we will take a targeted recruitment approach to address identified gaps.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect; no person acting on our behalf shall discriminate in any situation against another individual or group, directly or indirectly. We actively encourage applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.
During the latter half of 2020 we improved the data we collect on employees to better be able to audit our diversity. Against the trend for social care, our frontline workforce has a good gender balance and we can evidence diversity across ethnicity. We will build further on this good foundation.
- We will analyse our diversity data and share transparently on our website. From this we can identify gaps and measures we might take to improve the diversity of our workforce across all levels.
- This will include a review of where we currently advertise alongside the language and style of advertisement to better encourage a diverse range of applicants.
- We will identify and remove any barriers that might prevent the progression of employees from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- We will seek feedback and opinion from our ethnic minority employees to guide our response.
People We Support
Autism at Kingwood’s referral and assessment process does not discriminate against any autistic people regardless of their background, ethnicity or lifestyle. However, whilst we do provide support to some autistic people from ethnic minority backgrounds, they are within the minority.
- We will collate diversity data for the geographical areas in which we work and identify local targets on reaching ethnic minority autistic people.
- We will monitor the referrals received to explore how we might improve the reach and accessibility of our services.
Kate Allen, CEO
1st February, 2021