Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

This statement and area of work was kicked off by the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. Like for many other organisations, it opened our eyes to the fact that PAN UK could do more to tackle racism. We know silence is complicity, but we also don’t want to simply write a tokenistic statement.

With that in mind, we are asking ourselves difficult questions and adjusting our work and processes accordingly. We are continuously listening and learning and understand that being an ally is an everyday practice which takes commitment and action. This statement marks the beginning of this ongoing process.

PAN UK is committed to social justice and doing whatever it can to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and oppose racism and other forms of discrimination.

We are part of a network founded in the global south but work at the intersection of two of the least diverse parts of the UK charity sector, namely environment and food and farming. We also run programmes in partnership with local organisations in the global south and recognise both the huge value they add to our work by bringing a diversity in beliefs, cultures and backgrounds but also the potential challenges in terms of power dynamics given that all international development work is based upon the historical legacy of colonialism. Our aspirations to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and justice apply not only to PAN UK as an organisation but also to the broader sectors and contexts in which we operate.

PAN UK views diversity in its broadest form which includes, but is not limited to, the consideration of race, nationality, gender, age, class, disability, sexuality, language and educational background. Despite this broad focus, PAN UK’s approach is underpinned by evidence which suggests that a lack of diversity cannot be overcome without a specific commitment to engaging with racism. We therefore commit to pay particular focus to increasing the representation of minority ethnic groups on our board of trustees, within our staff body, among partners and individuals we work with, as well as among our supporters and campaigners.

PAN UK staff tend to be university educated and we therefore represent part of a privileged elite, a positon which shapes both our lived experiences and view of the world. In light of this, it’s crucial that we aim to create an inclusive work space in which differences are valued and everyone can thrive free from discrimination. This requires practical action to create conditions inside the organisation which mean that ethnic minorities and those from other under-represented groups are able to enter, stay and thrive. With regards to our campaigns and communications, we work to engage and empower people from all backgrounds, cultures, identities and abilities.

It is therefore both urgent and important that we put in place measures to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice both within PAN UK and through our external-facing work. As well as introducing positive measures, it’s also crucial that we look at where our work and ways of working are unintentionally reinforcing structural inequalities and racism.

As of April 2021, these are our priorities for action:

  • Evaluating our key grassroots campaign in the UK – the Pesticide-Free Towns campaign – through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. This involves putting in place measures to both encourage a more diverse group of campaigners to get involved and ensure that people from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to experience the benefits of reduced exposure to urban pesticides.
  • Including local partners from the global south in discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Adding features to our website and evaluating our outgoing communications to ensure they are accessible to all.
  • Working with diverse service providers in all areas and acknowledging their work by giving credit where credit is due, including offering payment in return for services rendered and not relying on unpaid internships.
  • Continuing our efforts to ensure that our staff recruitment process encourages diverse candidates to apply and puts in place the most equitable recruitment process possible which places no unnecessary barriers to those from different backgrounds.
  • Reinvigorating our board of trustees to be more diverse and better represent the make-up of the UK.

This statement will be reviewed every six months by PAN UK’s Diversity Working Group and updated accordingly.

If you have thoughts or ideas on how PAN UK can do better on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice we would love to hear from you. Please do email us at admin@pan-uk.org.