Our commitment to equality
Events over the last few weeks have affected many of us deeply – and the Black Lives Matter movement has led us to reflect on our practices at the MS Society.
We’ve been quiet as we’ve spent this time looking closely at our organisation and whether we’re living up to our commitment to having an equal, diverse and open culture. Some might say it isn’t our core purpose to speak out on these issues. But we need to acknowledge the impact racism has on people - including the MS community and our colleagues.
We’re making a renewed commitment that the MS Society will be a more equal organisation and will better represent people from diverse communities across the UK. We know we have a lot of work to do.
- At leadership level we’re not diverse – we need to change that. We’ve recently introduced name blind recruitment processes for all roles. We’re also engaging a specialist recruitment agency who will focus on attracting applicants from BAME backgrounds to apply to become a trustee of the MS Society.
- We’ll increase our efforts to support and encourage BAME applicants to all senior vacancies across the organisation. We’ll put in place a dedicated talent programme to encourage development of staff to secure promotions, with a focus on those from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented.
- On the back of a research project we commissioned last year into the experiences of people with MS from diverse backgrounds, we’ll continue to work with BAME members of the MS community to understand how we can make our organisation more welcoming and inclusive. And to work out whether we need new services to meet their specific needs.
But we know this is not enough. We’ll continue to reflect and discuss and will be revising our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy over the summer. We will publish our current plans by the end of the week and will continually update them as we work with staff and the MS community.