12 March 2021
New CIWM Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group to work towards real change
We’re delighted to announce the establishment of the very first CIWM Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) working group.
CIWM recognises the value in a diversity of voices and viewpoints in all that we do, and that embracing this approach will ensure CIWM, and the wider sector, is even more successful. We also recognise that the workforce of the future will be a diverse workforce, and we want to reflect both our members the communities that we serve.
The CIWM EDI working group, which met for the first time at the end of February, elected CIWM’s North East Centre Councillor, Gill Mulroe, as chair, and will now be actively seeking support from CIWM members with previous EDI involvement to bolster the working group with a vast range of knowledge and experience.
The group will set out its first agenda to CIWM Trustees in April and will begin with addressing a number of actions we can take in the immediate future.
CIWM’s CEO, Sarah Poulter, said: “EDI is something that is very important to us so we have been working with the CIWM Trustees to ensure that what we put in place in this area is member-led, authentic and translates into real policies and action across the Institution as a whole.
“In the short term, the working group will be looking at how to deliver some quick changes across the organisation to ensure we’re proactively tackling EDI in areas like representation – including panellist speakers across our events and Centre Council elections – while also looking at working up a longer-term plan. This will require a larger piece of work about what success looks like to us (and the sector), how we measure it, and what the ‘end goal’ is – recognising that this isn’t a project to be completed, but an ongoing approach that will continually evolve.
“While we’re getting our EDI programme up and running, it’s important that we’re upfront about the fact that it’s going to be a learning process and that we might not always get it right. What we know for certain is that we want CIWM to be open and accessible to everyone, regardless of background, ability, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. But also, that it needs to be more than that. We want CIWM to be an organisation where all people feel included, accepted and represented by us. Because, after all, that’s what we’re here for. We’re here for you.”
CIWM notes the specific challenge regarding how the success of the EDI group is measured. There is no readily available data to use as a frame of reference, but we’re already learning from other organisations, using the ‘EDI Research Report’ produced by Research by Design for Salesforce, as a guide to highlight areas where we can take action.
This will mean ensuring we have the right policies in place, that our approach to recruitment is sound, and that we have proper induction processes.
“We need to turn our attention inward, first of all,” Sarah Poulter added, “but it is our full intention to be in a position where we’re able to positively influence the sector as a whole and work towards real change.”
As part of our ‘inward’-focussed work, we will launch an anonymous survey for CIWM members to be able to have their say. This will be independent from our annual membership survey because we want to ensure that we gather the right data and that this data is in the correct context.
CIWM’s EDI working group chair, Gill Mulroe, said: “I’m thrilled to have been elected chair of the EDI working group. It’s such an important area for us to focus on and it’s a topic I have long been passionate about.
“It’s important for CIWM members to know that this group is for you and will be driven by you, whether you feel EDI directly affects you or not. Because, ultimately, no one has equality until everyone has equality.”
Look out for more information to follow on how CIWM members can get involved.
Notes to Editors:
CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,700 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk
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