Equality and diversity

The management committee/board must ensure that it upholds and applies the principles of equality and diversity and that the organisation is fair and open to all sections of the community in all of its activities.

(Supporting principle to Principle 2 of The Code of Good Governance)

This means in practice that the management committee needs to ensure that equal opportunities and diversity principles are applied in all areas of the organisations work. The only variation to this principle may be where an organisation is set up to serve one particular section of the community e.g. women or young people. In these contexts an approach based wholly on equal opportunities and diversity may not be possible. The principles may need to be adapted to ensure the service is provided appropriately and as far as possible within the context of equal opportunities and diversity.

In general, management committees need to ensure that equal opportunities and diversity are promoted and upheld in all aspects of the organisation's work. The management committee is also responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with all relevant legislation in relation to employment or the provision of goods and services.

Key areas for consideration are:

  1. The identification and assessment of needs to be met;
  2. allocation of resources, making of grants and provision of services;
  3. membership of the Board and any sub-committees;
  4. staff recruitment, selection, training and conditions of service;
  5. communication with stakeholders and the public;
  6. accessibility of meetings and communications; and
  7. the buying of goods and services.

(Taken from Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector in England and Wales)