Diversity, equity and inclusion at Shift

Shift’s purpose is to create people-led and tangible social change. We believe this happens best when a diverse and representative range of people are meaningfully included in decisions about how our society moves forward.

To achieve this, we must mirror our ambition for diversity internally too. So we are thinking carefully about what diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) mean to us as Shift and how we can build DEI more strongly into our own practice.

Four DEI commitments

To keep us accountable, we’ve drawn up four DEI ‘commitments’ that reflect our intentions to make progress and propel us into action. We will review these on a six-monthly basis.

01 We commit to deepening our team’s understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion, so we can continuously evolve towards something better

We’re focused on building our team’s understanding of DEI, because we know there is still so much for us to learn. We realise that we need to be humble, acknowledge our knowledge gaps, and grow the confidence of our team around DEI, if we are to effectively support Shift’s purpose. Some ways we are doing this right now include: team training and knowledge building, and working with experts on positionality.

02 We commit to being transparent about diversity, equity and inclusion at Shift, what we’re doing to improve, and how that’s going

We believe that being honest about what’s happening is essential for social progress. So we are committing to being transparent about how well we are doing around DEI at Shift. Not only will this help others learn from our successes and mistakes, furthering sector-wide work towards a fairer society, it will also hold us accountable in our own efforts. To take action on this commitment, we are launching a new blog series focused on DEI to give regular updates about what we’re up to and how well it’s going.

03 We commit to growing the diversity of perspectives and experiences that shape our work at Shift and the way we operate as an organisation

Our work is premised on the belief that great ideas and outcomes emerge from a meaningfully diverse range of views, experiences and ways of looking at the world. Because of this, we want to see greater diversity within Shift internally and in the way we approach partnership working. Currently, we are working to recruit a more diverse board of trustees, learning how our new recruitment practices impact our hiring outcomes, and bringing partners’ community members into our core project teams.

04 We commit to building more inclusive spaces for our team, partners and stakeholders, so everyone feels that they truly belong

Shift has recently transitioned from being a founder-led organisation into a flatter, roles-based organisation. This means we’ve dropped top-down approaches to decision-making in favour of a self-organising structure, where power is distributed more equitably. While we believe this has helped us embed inclusive ways of operating, we want to continue to work on this. We also want to further explore how self-organising teams can be places of real inclusion and belonging and extend those qualities to those we work with. To support this commitment, we’ve co-created a new Behavioural Charter and scheduled a ‘fearless organisation’ scan to better understand how psychologically safe our spaces are.