Equity, diversity & inclusion

Our vision is a fairer world, where together we unleash the potential of people and communities. Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is central to this vision. 

We cannot have a fairer world if inequities persist in society or within our organisation. To achieve impact in complex social issues, we need people with a diversity of perspectives and life experiences.

We must nurture an environment where our people can do their best work — an organisation where people feel valued, where their voice is heard, and where they are proud of their achievements in driving social change. 

Our EDI strategy focuses on three priority areas to help us achieve our vision.

Race equity

Racism stands in the way of achieving our vision.

For Social Finance, working towards race equity means continuously and intentionally challenging structural and individual racism, both in the systems we work in and within our organisation.

To achieve this, we commit to being:


Look from all viewpoints and centre voices from ethnic minority backgrounds. Consider the power imbalances in our partnerships and the intersection between racism and other inequities.


Ask questions about how and why racism persists across all the issues we work on and use rigorous thinking to scrutinise the power structures that enable it.


Work with diverse partners to use insight and practical innovation to challenge the status quo and ensure that systems meet everyone’s needs.

To guide the development of our principles and action plan, we have defined what race equity and racism mean for us as an organisation:

We will be closer to race equity when someone’s racial identity is no longer a factor in determining their life outcomes.

Racism at an individual level can include overt bigotry and discrimination, microaggressions, and unconscious and conscious bias. It can be both intentional and unintentional, and results in ethnic minorities having less influence, opportunities and resources than others.

Structural racism is discrimination and inequity embedded through policies, practices, social structures and culture that result in some ethnic minorities facing worse socioeconomic outcomes.

Actions we are taking:

  • We established a Race Equity Advisory Group of independent experts to provide insight and challenge.
  • Our managers are trained in leading a diverse organisation.
  • We provide an Unlearning Racism programme, a reflective space to support our team in becoming actively anti-racist. 
  • We are delivering a programme to enhance the focus on race equity in our external social impact work.

Gender equity and the experiences of women

We are a majority female organisation, but this was not always reflected in the balance of power across our team. We have improved representation of women in senior positions, and there is now an equal number of women and men in our senior leadership group. 

Alongside this we have improved our maternity policy and processes, signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge, enhanced our travel safety polices, and closely monitor retention trends in relation to gender experience.

Actions we are taking:

  • Addressing the experience of women at all levels of the organisation.
  • Training people in removing gender bias from feedback, for example by valuing emotional intelligence and technical skills equally.

Cross-cutting EDI initiatives

Alongside race and gender we are making progress in other areas including socioeconomic background, sexuality, age, disability, mental health, and neurodiversity. We are a Disability Confident Committed employer, and we have signed the Mindful Employer Charter.

Our ambition is to address the different aspects of EDI, recognising that social categorisations are inter-related and everyone’s individual experience is unique. As we embed EDI approaches more fully into our culture, we will improve everyone’s experience. 

Actions we are taking:

  • Refreshing our HR policies, including those for raising concerns.
  • Delivering new line management training and embedding this into our core business processes.
  • Including EDI-specific questions in our interviews, building on our existing recruitment platform that removes unconscious bias from the hiring process.

Gender pay gap

We calculated our gender pay gap using data from March 2023. This showed that the average female salary was 89% of the average male salary. It also showed that we have equal pay for the same role at the same tenure. 

The pay gap is mostly driven by the gender composition of different cohorts of the organisation: our Director cohort is gender balanced, but there are more women than men below Director level. The top two paid individuals in the organisation are both men. 

We are taking positive action to increase the number of senior women through action on retention, development, and recruitment. We will re-run the gender pay analysis in spring 2024.

Diversity survey

We conducted a diversity survey in 2023. It revealed the following:

  • 72% of staff identify as white.
  • Around 60% of staff identify as a woman. Our leadership team is gender balanced, but the organisation as a whole has more women than men.
  • 76% of staff identify as straight.
  • 16% of staff identify as having a disability.
  • 40% of staff identify as having a religion, of which just under 2/3 identify as Christian.
  • Around 1/3 of staff have caring responsibilities.
  • Our team come from higher’ socioeconomic backgrounds than the UK population (22% vs 7%).

Our Board has become more diverse over the year. We started the year with 62% of the Board being men and ended the year with a 50/50 gender balance. The majority of our non-executive directors are now women. Our Board’s ethnic diversity has increased from 8% to 17%.

We will continue to monitor this data over time and are using it as a critical input to the development of our EDI programme. A key initial focus has been on ensuring that our recruitment, retention, and development activity is designed to increase our diversity at all levels

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