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 will 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 three main ways. The first is looking 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 working to change that. The second is looking at the content of our work. We know that an unfair banking system disproportionately affects minority and marginalised groups. We want to make issues of diversity, power, privilege and oppression a central part of all the work we do. The third is empowering our staff to learn: to develop strong understandings of this fundamentally important area, which are grounded in fact and lived experiences; to build their confidence in talking about these issues, and to challenge themselves and others to do better.
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.
We recognise that the UK has a long history of structural racism and oppression. Together we need to work hard to challenge ourselves and our institutions to do much better, and to move towards anti-racist policies and structures. Knowledge and understanding; honesty about where we are and where we need to be; and focussed determination to get there are the key ingredients to achieving this change.
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 initiatives we’re taking at Positive Money to further this agenda
- Since 2018 we have included thinking on oppression in our high level strategy, and we have built this work into our risk framework.
- We have a zero-tolerance policy towards hateful or discriminatory behaviour.
- This work is currently headed up by the Executive Director.
We are developing a number of initiatives in the organisation to embed our learning into the way we work, these include:
- Changing our recruitment practises to include blind shortlisting, fixed interview and assessment processes, and gender balanced interview panels.
- Building our learning into line management practises.
- Visiting the topic regularly in senior management team meetings, board meetings and staff team days.
- Building access requirements for people with disabilities into our events checklists, and ensuring accessibility is considered throughout the planning of events.
Learning and development:
- We have explored the terms intersectionality, power, and privilege in staff team days.
- We’ve explored issues around ‘race and the new economy’ in our internal team discussions, as well as launching a series of lunchtime discussion forums on intersectionality.
- A member of the senior management team has attended the four-day #dareconf – a week long leadership retreat on ‘facing up to race, power and privilege.’
- All staff and most of our board also took part in a full day of training on Power and Privilege with training providers Fearless Futures.
- 12 staff and board members have taken part in an Unconscious Bias training with an external facilitator. Following on from this all staff worked through an unconscious bias toolkit with the support of their line managers.
Developing Positive Money network leaders
- We held an “organisational culture” workshop at our Local Groups Gathering in 2018 to explore these issues on a deeper level with our network leaders.
- All local groups have agreed to operate according to our organisation’s “Values and Behaviours”.
- Our new 2019 Local Groups guidebook places a strong emphasis on culture, self-awareness and reflection, and the creation of safe and inclusive places.
Analysis of personnel and supporter network leaders
44% female and non-binary, (50% split in the SMT)
50% female and non-binary
38% female and non-binary (including chair)
Supporter network leaders:
Currently, out of 18 active group core teams, we have four female local group leaders or members of core teams and one person of colour.