Our commitment to inclusion and diversity

Walking along the family trail at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

At the National Trust we are committed to playing our part in creating a fair and equal society, free from discrimination. Our founders believed that everyone has the right to benefit from nature, beauty and history. We were founded to benefit the whole of society, and we aim to reflect the diverse nations we serve. We are working hard to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone; and to eliminate any form of prejudice, discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

The impact of coronavirus and the release of the ‘Home Truths’ report (published by Voice4Change and ACEVO) on systemic racism in the charity sector has given us a stark reminder of the importance and urgency of the work that lies ahead, and we have accelerated some of our plans as a result.

We are honest and open in acknowledging that we are not yet the diverse, inclusive organisation we aspire to be. We have a lot to do to improve our internal culture and address the stories we tell at our places. In the past 12 months we have:

  • introduced inclusive leadership training and updated our Values to reflect inclusion
  • piloted alternative recruitment approaches and practices
  • supported our fledgling people networks for staff who belong to minority groups and their allies
  • grown our collaborative approach to inclusion through partnerships with specialist organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society
  • undertaken research on the links to slavery and colonialism represented at our places

We are focussed on creating a welcoming, friendly and open environment where people can bring their whole selves to work or volunteer and feel a sense of belonging, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment, which respects and values their visible and invisible differences.

As an organisation we’ve signed the Time to Change pledge to tackle mental health-related discrimination at work. And we're proud of our continued visibility at events such as Pride, but recognise we have much more to do.

We're encouraging our staff and volunteers to take time to educate themselves and to understand what they can do to support colleagues and friends who are personally affected by recent events and by racism and discrimination in any form. We have also created spaces for those personally affected to be able to talk and support each other.

In publishing this approach, we are also publicly announcing our intentions for the coming year. We hope this serves as a statement of intent and confirms our deep-rooted organisation-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity. By June 2021 we will:

  • Be fully transparent about our commitment and progress; publishing information on our website and in our annual report.
  • Maintain our focus on our inclusive culture and develop an inclusion dashboard to share with staff and volunteers our performance.
  • Build and work collaboratively with our people networks and develop shared areas of focus through an Inclusion Council.
  • Develop an action plan in response to the recommendations of the Home Truths report and publish our progress.
  • Apply our research and review our places and collections and commit to tell the ‘Stories of Everyone’.
  • Build partnerships and initiatives which support the Trust to learn; and commit to sharing that learning with the wider sector.
  • Review this statement regularly and develop our Inclusion and Diversity policy to sit alongside it.

July 2020