You are here

Diversity and Inclusion Plan

At Big Society Capital, we know there is more that we can do than just cover the basics when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

We have an opportunity to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our organisation and our sector, to achieve impact through a cultural change as well as through our investments, demonstrating that diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also a route to excellence. We can do this through our behaviours, our culture, the support we provide to other organisations, the people we reach in our events and campaigns, our investment decisions and our capital.

The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion plan sets out the measures we will take over the next year. We will measure our progress against these action points and report on them in 2020, while also developing an updated plan to keep moving forward. We will work closely with the Diversity Forum to align goals for the future plan.

January-June 2019 Priority Activities:


What & How

Big Society Capital internal processes

Transparency and communication


Conduct an inclusive language review

  • Conduct an internal audit on internal and external comms to ensure the language we are using is inclusive; share existing best practice guidelines internally

Develop a shared internal view on our approach to flexible working

  • Articulate this clearly and share internally and on our website

Commit to no all-male panels


People strategy

  • Develop People Strategy that incorporates diversity and inclusion aims and values
  • To be developed in Q2

Sign the Diversity Forum manifesto

Sign the Diversity Forum manifesto and commit to taking the four steps. We should commit to reporting on our progress on these once a year.

Big Society Capital Portfolio

Review of Big Society Capital investment and portfolio processes

Build further into Building Blocks & DD framework across intermediaries, specifically adding more detail into the best practice guide from a D&I perspective in key areas, including:

  • Governance: Strength, diversity and inclusivity of the Board.

  • People: Gender pay gap analysis. 

  • Investment assessment and DD

    • Diverse and inclusive ICs and exec team.

    • Consideration of whether investments have an gender/equalities lens.

BSC IC memos

Ensure this pulls through from the Building Blocks as part of the organisational strength tests.

Implement BSC portfolio monitoring and reporting

Require intermediaries to conduct annual gender pay gap review and report on this.

Collect and publish our managers’ gender data as a starting point (could also publish broader diversity data) including:

  • % women partners (on exec teams)
  • % women on IC
  • gender pay gap
  • Do they invest using a gender-lens: yes/no

Transparency data: Change field for gender of Chief Exec of front line investees from optional to mandatory.

Consider how to apply approaches from others who have implemented gender lens investment at different levels into their work.

Diversity training for all Investment Group and IC.

Sign up to Women in Finance Charter (also in Diversity Manifesto actions)

Charter commits us to four actions:

  • having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;
  • setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management;
  • publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website;
  • having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity– there is no performance related pay for staff at Big Society Capital.


Next 6 to 12 months – Additional Activities:


What & How

Big Society Capital internal processes

Big Society Capital People processes 


Gender pay gap closing

  • Idenitfy tangible steps we could take to address our gender pay gap.
  • More analysis of gender pay gap in each quartile
  • This could involve setting a target for gender diversity at senior management and Exco level.

2027 scheme

  • Consider hosting associate placement from scheme.
  • Would be a tangible step to broaden the spectrum of class experience in the organisation and in turn at the top trusts and foundations in the future.

Support development of a mentoring scheme for groups experiencing specific barriers to progression (e.g, women, BME groups)

  • Evidence suggests formal mentoring schemes can be effective in supporting groups that may face barriers in organisational progression.
  • Would require much better understanding of which groups face barriers and why (may be more relevant in different organisations).

Support development of a sector-wide Apprenticeship scheme

  • To support individuals from more diverse backgrounds and/or those with lived experience into in social investment.
  • Requires much better understanding of problem and key barriers, as well as where/ how similar programmes have been effective.
  • Social Finance have recently taken on an apprentice so would be good to get feedback from them.

Supporting reach of social investment to more diverse entrepreneurs

Social sector engagement approach in 2019

  • Build a list of more diverse social sector leaders who can participate in events, case studies etc.
  • Future engagement campaign (after GET INFORMED) could have a diversity focus (eg around women-led enterprises, or focused on young people).

Gender lens consideration by other funders

Organise gender lens learning session for SIIG which might in turn support future joint work around some of these areas.

Treasury portfolio

Clarify what approaches are used by our managers around diversity & gender within their ESG screens.