We’re SUPER excited to announce a new partnership with Trustees Unlimited!
For those who may not know (and don’t worry, we didn’t either until we had to become one), “a Trustee has the overall legal responsibility for a charity. The law describes charity trustees as ‘the persons having the general control and management of the administration of a charity” – NCVO Knowhow.
This is a very powerful position to have and essentially means you are right there at the heart of decision-making. However, as with many areas of life, people of colour, particularly women of colour, are not well represented which means our voices are not reflected in those all important spaces. Kinda whack right?! So whack in fact, here’s what a snapshot looks like:
Of the 700,000 Trustees in England and Wales –
- Two thirds are men
- 92% are white
- The average age is 55-64
- Of the largest 500 charities, only 2.25% have women of colour leaders
- Less than 3% of Trustees are under the age of 30
We told you – pure whackery!
Our co-founders are Trustees so that’s two brown women under the age of 30 at the table but it’s not enough and the table is long and lonely so it needs to be filled with more incredible women of colour like you, yes you, reading this blog right now. You may think “oh I don’t think I have the skills to be one of those people” or “I’ve just never given it a thought because I didn’t know about it or think it was people like me” but you know what, we’ve thought the same and it held us back and now, we’re here to tell you just how important it is that you are there in those spaces and just how well qualified you are sis – you have lived experience and in the grand scheme of things, THAT is the most important skill set (in our humble opinion).
Just think, when organisations are sitting around a table discussing the best course of action to empower young Muslim women or are supporting the Bangladeshi community in so and so place or providing support for Black Caribbean youth but the people making those decisions are the snap shot above then it’s no mystery why we all look at things created “for us” and not by us and go “that’s a dead ting”. It usually comes from people who may have great formal qualifications and a desire to help, but there are nuances about being a young Muslim woman or Black Caribbean that you can’t learn or research, you need to have lived. You need to have grown up in x,y and z area, speak that language, faced those barriers, felt the challenges and lived through it to know how to go back and help it. A mix of experience is always good and pairing lived experience with those who have a background in business, strategy, fundraising, finance etc will only better the organisation as a whole but if you have those skills AND lived experience then geez, you are gold! You don’t need one or the other, let’s not get it twisted that WoC can only bring lived experience as many of us are also skilled in all the areas mentioned above so either you’re bringing both or at least one which means either way, you’re bringing some of major benefit and value to whatever organisation you decide to govern.
The process can be long, confusing and feel like another world entirely and that’s exactly why we partnered with Trustees Unlimited. We wanted to ensure you have the knowledge, confidence and support to think about becoming a Trustee, then applying and understanding the process and finally, becoming one and maintain your position once there in a happy and healthy way.
It’s not always easy as like with anything new, it has it’s challenges but it’s so important because without us having a seat at the table, someone else sits in our place and speaks for us. Our community, our lives and the sector itself needs the incredibly unique people that make up society if it is to serve it in the way that it intends to and is needed. Without that proper reflection, the saviour complex, the extremely one-sided make-up and the solutions to problems go round in circles. If we want the charity sector to change, we need to change the space that governs it.
If you think becoming a Trustee is for you but want more information and need that extra support, then please subscribe to our website. Soon we’re going to be sharing resources, possible support sessions with Trustees Unlimited, CV and application support and of course, posting vacancies on our opportunities page for you to be the first to hear about them.
You got this GirlDreamer, don’t be afraid to unleash your potential on this world!