Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
At Big Society Capital, we aim to incorporate equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into everything we do. In 2021, we set our focus across our different business functions – ranging from how we make investments, engage different stakeholders, and how we can become a truly inclusive employer. A key part of our approach is to engage with initiatives across the wider social investment sector: we know that we can’t make change happen on our own.
Over the last year, Big Society Capital has focused on diversity culture and processes, following an internal review.
In October, we published our EDI action plan, which we see as a key part of our 2025 strategy.
Alongside our gender pay gap report, we also published our ethnicity pay gap report, meeting our commitment to transparency, measuring our progress in preventing discrimination and bias, including equal access to jobs and career progression for all.
The wider sector
We have worked to develop system tools that incorporate EDI when considering impact:
Outcomes Matrix – a widely used online tool, which enables enterprises to plan and measure impact when considering social investment. As of 2021, the matrix now factors equality and diversity into the consideration process.
Addressing Imbalance programme in partnership with Good Finance – an outreach programme that aims to work alongside charities, social enterprises and networks to improve access to information, knowledge and resources on social investment among diverse groups.
We are conducting an audit to gauge the approach to EDI that exists within our investment process and within our portfolio management, including looking at what data we are collecting and how we report on this. Data is vital to our understanding of existing issues, and this research forms part of ongoing work with the sector-wide EDI data working group – with other foundations and social investors. The group is focused on better understanding how and what EDI data is most meaningful to collect at fund manager level and investee level, to understand where the gaps are for this, and the potential resources that might be needed to support this.
Becoming a more inclusive organisation
We now have a dedicated staff lead, who is allocating additional time to EDI, continuing existing work and leading on some positive, new initiatives. These include developing a reverse mentoring scheme internally, as well as our training offer for staff more widely to support EDI. We have recently delivered training on topics such as allyship with a training partner called The Other Box, and delivered Power & Privilege training for line managers. Other notable steps include expanding our apprenticeship scheme, which has now taken on three young apprentices from diverse backgrounds, alongside two interns through the 1000 Black Interns programme, of which we were a founding member.