Positive Money is developing its organisational understanding of issues of power, privilege, diversity and oppression, and aims to embed this understanding within the organisation’s work, practices and policies.
We are determined to use our platform to champion reforms that lead to a society and economy where oppression, discrimination and inequalities are a thing of the past.
We approach this work in two main ways. The first looks at who makes up our movement – the staff within our organisation, the supporters within our network, the voices being given a stage to raise our issues. We know we aren’t representative of society and so are exploring ways to change that. The second looks at the content of our work. We know that an unfair banking system disproportionately affects minority and marginalised groups. We want to bring issues of diversity, power, privilege and oppression to become a central part of all the work we do.
As more and more research and thinking is being done into structural areas of oppression, it’s increasingly clear that our most powerful institutions, and indeed the makeup of our own third-sector organisations, are reinforcing negative trends. For example, the Bank of England’s policy making committees make decisions which have a huge impact on everyone in Britain, yet their members come from a narrow range of backgrounds i.e. big finance. Meanwhile some of the Bank of England’s flagship policies like quantitative easing negatively impact people on lower incomes, which by default means BAME communities are suffering more due to central bank policies.
Together we need to work hard to challenge ourselves and our institutions to do much better.
Increased diversity and better tools to tackle issues of power and privilege will make our range of thinking broader and our campaign stronger, not least because diverse teams perform better than non-diverse teams. Here are some of the things initiatives we’re taking at Positive Money:
- For the first time we have included structures of oppression into our high level strategy in our foundational analysis.
- We asked all local groups to sign up to our agreed local groups “Values and Behaviours”. Currently, out of 18 active groups, we have four female local group leaders or members of core teams and one person of colour.
- We held an “organisational culture” workshop at our Local Groups Gathering to explore these issues on a deeper level with our network leaders.
- We have explored the terms intersectionality, power, and privilege in staff team days.
- We are developing a number of initiatives in the organisation to embed our learning into the way we work, including changes to our recruitment practises.
- 12 staff and board members have taken part in an Unconscious Bias training with an external facilitator.
- We’ve explored issues around ‘race and the new economy’, in our internal team discussions.
- We have a zero-tolerance policy towards hateful or discriminatory behaviour. We regularly challenge those who act inappropriately
- This work is currently headed up by the Executive Director
Looking forward to 2019 there are some key aims and goals for this work. Overall we aim to ensure there is greater ownership of this work across the team and that it is more fully integrated into our ways of working.
- All staff are working through an Unconscious Bias toolkit with support of their line managers by end of February. Outputs are fed to COO and ED to feed into action points.
- Staff and Board are taking part in a full day of training on Power and Privilege run by renowned trainers Fearless Futures.
- As a result of team days, unconscious bias and power and privilege training days, we are updating our power & privilege document with areas to work on and ensuring someone is accountable for each area of work.
- We are building this area of work into our risk framework.
Analysis of personnel
42% female and non-binary, (also split 50% in the SMT)
25% female and non-binary
44% female and non-binary (including chair)