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6. Diversity

Principle

The National Board’s approach to diversity supports its effectiveness, leadership and decision making.

 

Rationale

Diversity, in the widest sense, is essential for the National Board to stay informed and responsive and to navigate the fast-paced and complex changes facing the Party. National Board whose members have different backgrounds and experience are more likely to encourage debate and to make better decisions.

The term ‘diversity’ includes members from different backgrounds, ethnicity, life experiences, career paths and diversity of thought. The National Board should try to recruit people who think in different ways, have integrity, are honest as well as believe in the Party and its values.

 

Key outcomes

  1. The board is more effective if it includes a variety of perspectives, experiences, skills and people who believe in the Party values.

  2. The board ensures that the Party follows principles of equality and diversity, going beyond the legal minimum where appropriate.

 

Recommended practice

  1. Encouraging inclusive and accessible participation

    1. The National Board periodically takes part in training and/or reflection about diversity and understands its responsibilities in this area.

    2. The National Board makes a positive effort to remove, reduce or prevent obstacles to people being members, allocating budgets, where necessary, to achieve this within the Party’s available resources. This could include looking at:

      1. the time, location and frequency of meetings

      2. how papers and information are presented to the board, for example using digital technology

      3. offering communications in formats such as audio and Braille

      4. paying reasonable expenses

      5. where and how member vacancies are publicised and the election process.

    3. The chair regularly asks for feedback on how meetings can be made more accessible and how to create an environment where National Board members can constructively challenge each other and all voices are equally heard.

  2. Electing diverse members

    1. The National Board regularly carries out an audit of skills, experience and diversity of background of its members to find imbalances and gaps and inform the ‘1957 Committee’.

    2. The National Board sees diversity, in all its forms, as an integral part of its regular board reviews. The board recognises the value of a diverse board and has suitable diversity objectives.

  3. Monitoring and reporting on diversity

    1. National Board members ensure that there are plans in place to monitor and achieve the board’s diversity objectives.

    2. The National Board publishes an annual description of what it has done to address the diversity of the Party and the Party’s leadership and its performance against its diversity objectives, with an explanation where they have not been met.