Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Suffolk: Charities and public sector firms ‘stuck in 1970s’ with not enough women and ethnic minorities in boardroom – claim

PUBLISHED: 07:24 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 07:24 27 March 2014

Phanuel Mutumburi, business development director at ISCRE, said the research made for uncomfortable reading.

Phanuel Mutumburi, business development director at ISCRE, said the research made for uncomfortable reading.

Archant

Leading charities and public sector firms in Suffolk are stuck in the 1970s because they fail to represent modern communities at boardroom level, it has been claimed.

Urgent action is needed to address the under-representation of woman, young people and ethnic minorities in senior positions at civil society organisations in the county, the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) and Big Society Funding Community Interest Company (CIC) said.

They studied the makeup of board members at charities and publicly-funded bodies and found that, despite the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) community comprising 11% of Ipswich’s population, only 4% (six out of 142) charity trustees came from BAME backgrounds. Only 34% are women.

It said none of the New Anglia LEP’s board members come from a BAME background, with only 15% being women, while the least gender-diverse body was the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, with all eight board members being men and none from a BAME background.

It found 18-to-24-year-olds make up only 4% of charity trustees in the east of England, while only 8% of charity trustees identified themselves as having a disability, despite 23% of people using their service being disabled or experiencing a long-term health condition.

A spokesman for the Big Society Funding CIC and ISCRE said: “We look back at the some of the attitudes in the early 1970s and like to think how far we have come in our attitudes to gender and race equality.

“Yet in terms of diversity, Suffolk’s leading charities and public sector organisations appear closer to society as it looked in 1974 rather than in 2014. Does modern-day Suffolk really want to look so out of date? If not, urgent action is needed now.”

Phanuel Mutumburi, business development director at ISCRE, said the research made for “uncomfortable reading”.

He said: “There is a growing awareness nationally of the importance of diversity amongst the directors of charities and in boardrooms, not just for the sake of fairness, but in terms of tangible benefits to our economic growth.

“Within our increasingly diverse county, ISCRE seeks to engage with organisations to help them develop a more diverse and representative body of trustees and board level members that properly reflects modern Suffolk.”

Mark Ereira-Guyer, director of Big Society Funding CIC, said: “The apparent lack of diversity in the commanding heights of Suffolk’s civil society is not a dry academic issue.

“It impacts very negatively on the health and wellbeing of how we work together as communities, on how we allocate public money, make decisions and how we see ourselves as having a shared and equal stake in the future of county.

“It is important we move forward to create more inclusive ‘Big Society’ communities in Suffolk, and across the east (of England).”

The research will be discussed at today’s ‘How to Succeed in Suffolk’ conference at Marriage Hall in Ipswich.

Speakers include Lisa Nandy MP, the Shadow Minister for Civil Society, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, Deborah Cadman, chief executive of Suffolk County Council and other guests from business and political backgrounds.

Six mile tailbacks have been reported on the A14 after a crash involving a car and lorry.

Campaigners last night called for more action to “urgently reverse these alarming trends”, but praised victims for showing bravery to convict perpetrators.

A drunk customer who returned to a Suffolk pub brandishing a chainsaw after he was asked to leave by door staff has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

Seemingly never-ending roadworks which have snarled up Stowmarket for more than half a year are set to labour on for at least another two months.

Drivers in Ipswich needing to top-up with fuel this morning will struggle to find a litre of petrol for less than 114.7p.

Pictures from the 1990s show students getting to grips with Kendo at Suffolk College.

More checks have been carried out in Ipswich by police investigating the murder of a man earlier this year.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24