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Charities urged to reap diversity dividend

Charities can learn how promoting equal opportunities is essential for their success at a third-sector networking event next month.

Furley Page senior associate Amanda Okill (16554034)
Furley Page senior associate Amanda Okill (16554034)

Amanda Okill, a senior associate at Kent law firm Furley Page, will give a presentation on unconscious bias and the importance of diversity in the workforce at a special employment-law workshop at the KM Charity Team Charity Forum.

The forum, which is free to attend, takes places at Ashford International Hotel on October 4, and Ms Okill will be joined by Sean Rodwell, a charity specialist at Kent accountancy and financial services firm Kreston Reeves.

Employment law specialist Ms Okill said charities that failed to promote diversity were missing out on huge opportunities when it came to attracting the best talent into their organisations.

And she added that they needed to remember employees, beneficiaries and donors had enormous choice about where to go and who to donate to.

She said: “No-one sets out to be non-inclusive but it is easy for unconscious bias to creep in, and it stops organisations looking for talent in unconventional places.

“Unconscious bias takes the form of both negative and positive attitudes and the stereotypes that people live by.

“It influences decisions with regards to recruitment of staff and opportunities for promotion in organisations.”

Ms Okill will use her workshop to highlight ways of recognising unconscious bias and practical and constructive steps organisations can use to tackle it.

The forum provides an opportunity for charities and parent-teacher associations to network, find out how the KM Charity Team can support them, and attend workshops that will also address communications and fundraising.

And selected good causes will be presented with the Kent Charity Mark in recognition of the contribution they make to the county.

KM Charity Team founder Simon Dolby will present a workshop on public relations, and share tips on fine-tuning KM Charity of the Year applications.

And grant expert and Social Enterprise Kent deputy CEO Rebecca Smith and Bruce Topham, a funds manager at the Kent Community Foundation, will discuss how third-sector organisations can secure funding for their activities.

Find out more about the forum here or by contacting the KM Charity Team on 0844 264 0291.

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