In February the newly formed Trustee Diversity Panel published its inaugural Inspire List of over 60 inspirational trustees from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Submissions to the list are continuing to be accepted online, and the list will be refreshed quarterly, in order to continue building a broader picture of trustee racial and ethnic diversity.
As part of the #InspireList, we sat down with trustee, Haroon Sheikh, Chair of the CareTech Foundation to find out his thoughts on being nominated as an inspirational trustee.
How pleased you are to have been included on the list and what does it mean to you?
I was honoured and surprised to have been included on the Inspire List! It means so very much for others to suggest that my efforts might help to encourage others from diverse backgrounds to get involved as a trustee.
Why did you want to become a trustee?
For me and my family, charitable endeavour is a core part of our DNA! Supporting charities through donations and the like is incredibly important, but being hands on in their work and helping to guide their development in order that they can support even more people and with even greater impact is a real privilege.
What do you think are the key barriers to becoming a trustee if you are from an under represented group?
Too often, trustees are recruited from the personal networks of existing trustees rather than being selected through an open recruitment process. This very often tends to lead to a perpetuation of existing biases and selection from far too narrow a pool.
Why you think the Inspire List matters?
Charities, like every other institution, must properly reflect and engage all sections of our society if they are to deliver the changes we all seek. Showing those from minority communities that their involvement is possible – indeed, positively welcomed and celebrated – is vital if we are to shift the dial on the numbers directly engaged in running our charities.
What do you think needs to be done to encourage more people to become trustees?
As well as ensuring the widest possible pool of candidate, with particular emphasis on reaching out to those groups under-represented, very careful thought needs to be given to the requirements sought which can all too easily rule out those from more diverse backgrounds. Beyond this, a mentoring/buddying scheme building on initiatives such as this to encourage those who should be considering becoming a trustee would be invaluable.