Key Voices #132 – ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion amongst Academy Trust CEOs’ with Forum Strategy

“I saw this on Twitter the other day - ‘diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice and belonging is having a voice that is heard.’” 

This week we talk to Nav Sanghara, CEO of The Woodland Academy Trust and Alice Gregson, Chief Operating Officer at Forum Strategy about Forum Strategy’s recent publication ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion amongst Academy Trust CEOs’. We discuss why the research was conducted and the challenges that persist when it comes to tackling the lack of diversity at senior levels within trusts. We also delve into some of the more positive findings emerging from the research and discuss the recommendations and potential solutions raised in the report. 

We talk about:
  • Alice and Nav’s careers and backgrounds
  • Why Forum Strategy wanted to conduct the research 
  • Some of the positive findings that denote a level of progress on this issue
  • The more challenging findings from the report and the work still to be done, particularly around data collection 
  • Some of Nav’s experiences as a senior leader within a trust
  • The importance of inclusive practices as well as having diverse teams
  • The fear of using the wrong language being a barrier to people getting involved in the important work of diversity & inclusion and ways to address this 
  • How a consistent approach to diversity data collection across all the characteristics would help progress this work 
  • Some potential solutions, including the need for organisations to have a long-term strategic plan that tackles all aspects of this agenda across all relevant policies and activities, but recognising that this will take time and sustained effort


You can download the report from Forum Strategy here

You can learn more about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s nine protected characteristics here

If you would like to get in touch with Alice or Nav, or have any questions or feedback on the podcast, please email [email protected]

“We have to pull together to make real progress on these issues. We can’t see it as a competition point or think that we need to call people out in an unnecessarily confrontational way… These issues are far too important to be turning people away… when people feel judged or constantly criticised they lean away from it. We want them to feel valued and lean in.”

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