Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) round-up: April 2021

Content warning: Gender-based violence 

Welcome to our fourth EDI round-up where we’ll be sharing what we’ve been doing, reading and thinking about at NCVO over the last few months.

Gender-based violence

Recently it feels as though not a week goes by where there isn’t another tragic event unfolding in the news. In March we saw the tragic murder of Sarah Everard and the following police violence against women holding a vigil for her. We are deeply saddened by this set of events and our hearts go out to Sarah Everard’s family and friends.

We also want to acknowledge the pain caused by the lack of media coverage and the same level of outrage and support when Black Women, Women of Colour, disabled women and trans-women are murdered, most recently: Blessing Olusegun, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, and Naomi Hersi.

We recognise that certain groups of people can be more affected by events and oppressive societal structures than others and this is when those less affected can be powerful allies. In this instance, that group is people who identify as men.  

It can be difficult to know what to say or do, and this is a complex issue. We want to empower others to be the best allies they can be. The natural response may be to try to offer solutions for the problems women are talking about, but the most important actions to take are the following.

  • Listen and believe women’s experiences of violence. 
  • Focus on the actions of the perpetrator and not the person experiencing violence. 
  • Speak to the women in our lives about what can be done to support them. 

We must take part in conversations that question harmful masculinity and learn from women and all genders about how we can act to help transform the culture of patriarchal violence. These are the only ways we can have true and lasting change.

At NCVO we’ve tried to support colleagues affected as best we can during these times. We’ve done this by sharing resources, helplines and encouraging people to take a break when they need to.

We can support organisations doing vital work on gender-based violence and advocating for women’s rights. Follow them, amplify their voices and donate if you can.

Here are a few examples.

Resources for further learning

We can also learn more about gender equality, sexism, ableism, misogyny and misogynoir. We’ve shared a small list below.

Violence and harassment towards women

Feminism and intersectionality

Masculinity and fighting sexism


We’re really excited to announce Janu Miah has joined NCVO as our new head of people and culture! Janu’s role will be central to facilitating our culture shift. She has a huge amount of experience in organisational development in the voluntary sector, most recently at the Liberal Democrats and Shelter.

So watch this space for an update on what we’ll be doing over the next 12 months to continue our vital journey towards becoming an inclusive NCVO.

Free events we’ll be checking out

Tomorrow we’ll be attending Pearn Kandola’s Diversity and inclusion post coronavirus webinar as part of their week-long series One year in lockdown: Lessons learned from the last 12 months of research.

This final webinar looks at:

  • research carried out since the start of the pandemic
  • the impact it’s had on marginalised groups
  • how it can help organisations think about how they handle inclusion moving forward.

UN Global Compact Network UK is also providing free webinars in their Black Lives Matter and Business 2021 Series over the next few months. We’ll be going to the one focused on marketing and communications.

This will review the current state of Black representation in marketing and communications in different sectors, and how we can make the most of these opportunities while avoiding mistakes and cultural insensitivity. There’ll be plenty of inspiring and good practice case studies too.

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Arabella Shewry Arabella is senior people and culture officer at NCVO. Her role focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion and people development within the organisation.

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