The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

National Trust Volunteers Resign Over Mandatory Diversity Training

National Trust Volunteers Resign Over Mandatory Diversity Training
14 April 2021
 

According to a report in The Telegraph, mandatory unconscious bias training has led to several resignations at the National Trust.

Some volunteers have taken issue with the fact that the training is compulsory even for those not public-facing.

The training aims to examine unintended biases, and includes exercises on how to avoid unconscious bias when making initial judgements about people and is run alongside other subjects such as safeguarding, fire safety and data protection.

Volunteers are asked to complete the course before returning to work, alongside COVID-19 safety training. This has been policy for several years, according to a National Trust spokesperson.

The National Trust's diversity and inclusion commitment aims to create "a fair and equal society, free from discrimination", particularly in light of the Home Truths report on systemic racism in the charity sector.

 

Non Customer-Facing Volunteers

 

A former volunteer told The Telegraph: “One is left to wonder how many potential volunteers will be put off by this policy, [and how many] existing volunteers who will call it a day rather than subject themselves to examinations.”

They also questioned why the course applied to all staff, even in roles where they feel it to be “irrelevant”.

 

Role Models and Diversity Champions

 

Several companies in the facilities management sector have, over the past decade, visibly promoted their diversity training for all staff (both public-facing and otherwise), citing the positive impact of such programmes.

Global service provider Atalian Servest has its own diversity and inclusion platform made up of three key networks: physical & mental health, race, ethnicity & faith, and LGBTQ+. Other companies in the sector such as JLL, Sodexo, ISS and Pareto FM offer similar resources.

Nia Bezuidenhout, Deployment Manager at Sodexo and the company’s Pride UK&I Network Co-chair told us in summer 2020 that it’s imperative that organisations have a strong diversity and inclusion vision, and must make that vision visible:

”Over 60 per cent of millennials now actively seek to work for organisations who are more LGBT+ inclusive because they feel that these organisations are far more progressive than those who are not active in this area.”

Bezuidenhout also stressed the importance of visible role models and having diversity champions in senior leadership teams:

“It’s important to have visible role models who can and are willing to share personal stories and raise awareness of issues that others may not have sight of."

Picture: a photograph of the exterior of Attingham House, a National Trust Property

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 April 2021

Share



Related Articles

ThisWeekinFM In Conversation – Yash Kapila | Integral

ThisWeekinFM spoke to Yash Kapila, who runs JLL’s engineering facility management business, Integral, about his outlook for facilities management for...

 Read Full Article
Sodexo Partners with Generation Success on Diversity Mentorship Programme

Sodexo is helping to empower 40 young people of diversity to achieve their career aspirations through a 14-month mentorship programme. Coinciding with Black History...

 Read Full Article
Sodexo Re-Accredited as Disability Confident Leader

Sodexo has had its leader status in the UK Government's Disability Confident scheme re-accredited for a further three years. The Disability Confident scheme...

 Read Full Article
Thousands Sign up For BICSc Cleaning Courses

A virtual training initiative from The British Institute of Cleaning Science is being celebrated after thousands of candidates have signed up for the e-learning...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview | SafetyCulture

SafetyCulture is the operational heartbeat of working teams around the world. Its mobile-first operations platform, including iAuditor and EdApp, leverages the...

 Read Full Article
ACAS Shares Advice on Hybrid Working

ACAS has shared new advice for employers wanting to support hybrid working and execute it fairly. The pandemic has shown us that not everyone is treated...

 Read Full Article
Dyslexia – Creating a Workplace Where Everyone Can Succeed

Joe Marshall from the Confederation of British Industry discusses how diverse and inclusive workplaces can help people with dyslexia flourish at...

 Read Full Article
How FMs Can Inspire the Next Generation of Talent

As A-Level results are published, the FM sector has an opportunity to capture the interest of the next generation of young leaders. Elizabeth Smith, Head of People...

 Read Full Article
Deloitte Launches Climate Learning Programme For All Employees

Deloitte is to roll out climate learning for all of its 330,000 employees. Developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, Deloitte is the first...

 Read Full Article
Amey and Mace Launch Health Platform for Menopause Support

In an industry first, Amey and Mace have launched a digital health platform to support women going through menopause and other major health journeys. Amey and Mace...

 Read Full Article