Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

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.


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 Does modern-day Suffolk really want to look so out of date?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.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Kieron Dyer shocked fans tonight when he quit ITV programme I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here’, before making a U-turn decision.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons, London. PA Wire

Families receiving tax credits and bobbies on the beat were given a reprieve as the chancellor moved to quieten his critics with an unexpected cuts U-turn.

Two people were taken to Colchester General Hospital for further treatment

An elderly man had to be freed from his vehicle by fire crews in Wix, near Manningtree, this evening after a collision on the A120.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24