Inclusive Impact: the state of diversity in the social impact sector

The report offers a comprehensive review of diversity in the social impact sector. It found that the sector lacks diversity in gender, disability, and ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Even though the representation of women at Executive level has increased by 2% since 2017, social investment boards have seen a drop in female representation. Moreover, whilst the story shows a positive outlook for women in general, Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women are the least likely to hold directorship in the sector, accounting for just 16 (or 2.8%) of all Board Directors. The report also indicates that almost one in five Board directors (18%) in the sector attended Oxford or Cambridge universities. This compares to just 1% of the whole population.

However, since the social investment sector is still in development, it has the potential to become a leader in diversity promotion - and a model in equality and inclusion.

Danyal Sattar, CEO, Big Issue Invest said: 

“We welcome the findings of this report and hope this helps refocus attention. I believe the solutions are within our grasp.   If the rest of commerce do not want the brightest and the best, we’ll have them, thank you very much”.


If you would like to take a look at the survey used in the report, please download here.


Because these findings need to be acted upon, the report is accompanied by a toolkit providing practical guidance to make the sector more inclusive. The toolkit addresses topics such as hiring processes, monitoring, unconscious bias and training.