#InspireList – Amina Ahmad

We ask Amina Ahmad, a non-executive director at The Social Investment Business, and Social Innovation Fellow at Year Here what she thinks needs to be done to encourage more people to become trustees?

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.

What do you think needs to be done to encourage more people to become trustees?
Incumbent/recurring Trustee’s to step aside, actively recruit from the communities being served, more visible role models with positions of decision making power on Boards (no tokenism, Boards can be hostile places for new Trustees from minorities).

Why do you think the Inspire List matters? 
I would like to think the Inspire List will highlight the incredible work of my peers on the list and encourage those who want to join Boards and work with and for the causes they care about to do so because they can see themselves in these positions too. We appreciate this alone isn’t going to change or fix the systemic issues involved, compounding inequality over many years, but want this to be a part of encouraging and increasing representation throughout these organisations set up to serve our diverse communities. I am particularly excited for more people from non-white backgrounds to come in and balance the narrative and contribute to the solutions for tackling climate injustice. 

Why did you you want to become a trustee?
My aunts and grandparents set strong examples for me and I was taught that service to others is a duty that we can all fulfil. They encouraged my commitment to a life of service and activism. This has served me with so many experiences that have enriched my own life so much. I am grateful to be in a position to work with Boards to reflect my own lived experiences and advocate for others who do not have the same platform or opportunity to do so themselves. Being able to speak with my peers, learn from them and amplify the voices of those we are there to serve is an immense privilege and a responsibility I take seriously.

What do you think are the key barriers to becoming a trustee if you are from an under represented group?
No access or network. The bar for achievements to put yourself forward are (perceived or not) much higher than those required of incumbents, and much more so when they are for national and well-endowed/funded funders (those with the power to effect meaningful change through their work) The ‘Board bounce rate’ for under-represented Trustees is also much higher than the average, further underlining to those that might apply that e have no role models and that Boards are not spaces for us.

Our commitment to diversity & inclusion

Trustees Unlimited believes that diverse boards strengthen society. We will strive to remove the barriers that prevent people from applying to become trustees and help our clients to recruit and support people with a wide range of skills and lived experience.

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