Across the charitable sector, 2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year. As we steer a course through the impact of coronavirus, we need to think creatively about how we support new parents in a changing context. As part of that, we are reaffirming our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the inequalities in maternal outcomes and persistent disadvantages faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic pregnant women and new parents in the UK.
55% per cent of pregnant women admitted to hospital with coronavirus in March or April 2020 were from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. This adds to the evidence from MBRRACE-UK, presented by Professor Marian Knight at our 2019 AGM, showing that black women are five times as likely to die during pregnancy or after birth compared to white women, while mixed-race women are three times as likely and Asian women are twice as likely to die.
NCT has a proud heritage of campaigning for social justice and driving positive change for pregnant women and new parents, but there is clearly much more to do to address these persistent inequalities in outcomes.
At NCT, we have an important role to play in highlighting these inequalities and working with others to bring about better experiences and more equitable outcomes. We recognise that we have more to do to become an open, inclusive and diverse charity so we can support all parents, whatever their situation, background, ethnicity, community or needs.
In response, we have been developing plans to improve, update and embed an approach to equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our work and practices. We’ll be working with a specialist advisor on a range of considerations, including:
- A Board development programme, to help the Board move forward positively in leading a truly inclusive charity and community.
- Establishing a new NCT Diversity Network, to form a safe, trusted space and provide strong, ideas and input to shape our future inclusion initiatives.
- Establishing a comprehensive equality baseline, on which to build our inclusion action plan.
- Assessing the current culture of our charity, to help understand the actions required to develop a more inclusive workplace and community.
- Setting equality, diversity and inclusion goals across our work, including our volunteer, education, delivery and practice communities, and developing a framework to measure progress.
- Designing and facilitating a comprehensive programme of training and development for trustees, staff, practitioners and volunteers.
As part of this, we are taking positive action to enhance the diversity of our Board of Trustees and build their capacity in terms of skills and lived experience. You can find out more about our Trustee Elections 2020.