Bobbins photo by Nick HandLike many other organisations, the Heritage Crafts Association has made a commitment to increase diversity and representation within the charity – in our staff team, our Trustee Board and our critical friends (Vice-Presidents, Ambassadors, Advisors) – to be able to better serve and represent our members, those engaging with us and those who do not yet engage with us.

We want the HCA to be the best charity it can be for everyone who practices, values and loves crafts as we do. We know this includes a huge range of ages, ethnicities, sexualities, backgrounds, religions and economic statuses all across the country and the world; we want to be better at representing as many of these as possible within our teams.

Our recent advert for new Trustees has been a chance to reflect on this. For some years we have included the line ‘The Heritage Crafts Association is an equal opportunities organisation and welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds’ on all communications about recruitment. We felt it was long overdue that we are more proactive and do more to encourage the representation that we currently lack in the organisation to apply.

We have done a short, easy audit of all of our existing Trustees and below you can see some stats on who currently sits on our Board:

  • 82% of our Trustees identify as female and 19% identify as male.
  • There is fairly equal representation of ages between 26 and 65. 19% are aged 26-35 but there are no Trustees under the age of 26.
  • There is a fairly equal geographical spread across England alone, with the small majority of our Trustees living in London (36%). We do not currently have any Trustees who live in other parts of the UK – Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • 82% of Trustees identify as white, and 19% as Asian / Asian British.
  • 82% of our Trustees identify as heterosexual.
  • 82% do not identify as having a disability, with 28% identifying as having a long term health problem.
  • 90% have no religion or faith, with 10% identifying as Jewish.
  • 36% of Trustees have caring responsibilities.
  • Trustees were asked to describe their current social class and the vast majority identify as middle class (82%).

We are happy to note that almost all of our Board are younger than the average age of a Trustee for UK charities (which is 61 years old), and that we buck the national trend of 64% of all Trustees being male. However, as you can see, other stats show a real lack of breadth in key areas such as ethnicity, social class, sexuality, disability, faith and geographical location. We recognise that this is sadly not surprising or uncommon for many Trustee Boards, but this is no excuse. As above, we are committed to changing this and moving towards better representation on the Board, and across the whole charity.

We make this statement knowing that we’ve got a long way to go, but in the hope it will be a small step to helping us get to where we want to be. We also hope it is open and clear signal to any would-be Trustees reading this that we really want to hear from diverse candidates – and will truly value and welcome them on the Board if appointed.