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


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’s Head of Digital Named as Ethnic Minority Future Leader

Sodexo’s Head of Digital and Promotions, Harpreet Cheema, has been listed on the EMpower 2021 Ethnic Minority Future Leader Role Model list. Cheema is Co-Chair...

 Read Full Article
RoSPA and L’Oréal Partner to Support Women in Health and Safety

RoSPA and L’Oréal have partnered to launch their "Leading Safely for Women" programme. In a bid to support what they see as an...

 Read Full Article
Incoming CIBSE President Says Industry Must Prioritise Diversity 

The Incoming President of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers spoke at length about the importance of diversity and inclusion in...

 Read Full Article
Emotional Intelligence Training for the Security Industry Launches

The International Foundation for Protection Officers has announced a mental health training programme for the security industry this week, focussing on an empathetic...

 Read Full Article
Is the Use of AI in the Workplace Ethical?

A report by the Trades Union Congress says new protections are “urgently needed” to regulate the use of AI in workplaces. AI can be utilised by employers...

 Read Full Article
Willmott Dixon Named as Top Employer for Women

Willmott Dixon has again been listed by The Times as one of the UK’s Top 50 places to work for women. This is the construction and fit-out company's third...

 Read Full Article
66% of Businesses Prepared to Lose Suppliers With Poor CSR

Two-thirds of business leaders say they have already started replacing suppliers in the last year that don’t live up to their corporate social...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Samantha West and Ryden Ravenwood | Supporting Transgender People in the Workplace

How can FM employers offer a more supportive environment for transgender people? We explore this with Samantha West, Commercial Director at VINCI Facilities and...

 Read Full Article