17 June 2021

A new report released by Bond has found that nearly 90% of people surveyed across a number of UK NGOs felt their organisations are not truly committed to diversity, equality and inclusion.  

The report found that 68% said that they had experienced an incident of racism in the workplace within the past year or had supported someone else who experienced a racist incident.  

The report also reveals that 85% of respondents felt that as a person of colour, getting promoted in the sector was not accessible to them – promotion was seen as a reward only accessible to people from non-minoritised groups.  

Lena Bheeroo, lead author of the report and Engagement & Equity Manager at Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development said:  

“This report comes a year after the sector was invited to hold a mirror up to itself and look at the levels of representation we have in positions of power. Our report provides evidence for what we have known for many years now. Across the UK NGO sector, people of colour are underrepresented in senior roles, and that they are facing multiple barriers to career progression, with the odds stacked against them. 

For a sector that is working to champion people’s rights, fairness and equality, this is a big problem. Organisations must not shy away from speaking about racism and anti-Blackness. They have the responsibility to move beyond diversity in just HR terms, towards making better staffing decisions that better represent the countries and contexts that we work in. 

CEOs and board members should commit to sponsoring people of colour by investing time with them, opening doors, bringing them into existing networks and championing them publicly. 

On an individual level, people need to reflect on their levels of privilege and power and their position within the sector, so that they can start to take steps to disrupt the dynamics at play.” 

ENDS 

  1. Report: Racism, power and truth: Experiences of people of colour in development 
  2.  The report surveyed 150 people. 77% of respondents were in the UK and 23% were outside the UK
  3. For further information or interviews please contact Maryam Mohsin on 07555 336029 or  [email protected]