What we've done so far

Our work to be more inclusive happens at every level of guiding

Being inclusive is one of our values.

We know that it’s also important to our young members and to all girls. 

Through our shared Promise we make a commitment to being active citizens in our communities and the wider world, to helping others, and to respecting the beliefs of others. Being inclusive helps us all live our Promise. 

We support our volunteers to include everyone with the advice and guidance we share. And all members must follow our Equality and diversity policy and our Anti-bullying and harassment policy. 

But we knew we needed to do more. That’s why we’ve made an ongoing commitment to actively work to make Girlguiding more inclusive. That commitment started with our inclusion plan.  

Our research and audit

In 2020 we did a lot of research into your experiences in guiding through our diversity and inclusion audit. We worked with experts to make sure we followed best practice. And we talked to people from all areas of guiding, across the UK, to hear their experiences of feeling included and excluded or discriminated against in guiding. This included girls, volunteers, parents and carers, staff and trustees. 

The people we spoke to shared their commitment to and loyalty to Girlguiding, and how they want to help us do better. We heard about times we’d got inclusion right. We also heard about times we let people down, the negative experiences and how much that hurt. 

We learnt that we didn’t yet have a consistently inclusive culture. We found that not everyone felt they have the same opportunities or can progress equally. Not everyone felt welcome or like they belong at Girlguiding. And we learned there can be a lack of inclusive decision making, with people from marginalised groups telling us that their voices are often unheard. 

Download the full diversity and inclusion audit report (PDF) 

We knew this wasn’t good enough. So in 2021, we introduced a plan to help to address the problems we found, with support from experts outside guiding. It set out what we were going to do to make Girlguiding more inclusive. This plan is an important part of Girlguiding’s strategy, and our leadership are fully committed to it.  

What we've achieved so far

The first phase of our plan gave us a focus for what we needed to achieve over a 2 year period, from 2021-2023.  

Our plan set out the steps we needed to take to realise our ambition. The steps were grouped into 3 themes. Here’s what we’ve done since 2021: 

Changing our culture

We needed to change how we do things so we can create a fair and equitable environment for everyone to thrive.  

  • We’ve updated our equality and diversity policy and procedure to show what it means to take a zero-tolerance approach to discriminatory behaviour.  
  • We’ve introduced new unit meeting activities for every section that are all about inclusion. Download the activities.  
  • We’ve launched new training for volunteers.  Learn more about the Including all training.  
  • We’ve recruited a network of volunteer inclusion advisers to give advice and guidance on specific areas of diversity and inclusion. Meet the inclusion advisers.   

Equitable representation and power

We want to fully reflect the diversity of our society. We want marginalised groups to be represented at all levels of guiding, particularly in decision-making roles.  

  • We’ve started work to improve how we collect and check information about the demographics of members and staff. 
  • We’ve delivered two ethnicity pay gap reports, and are continuing to release our gender pay gap report. Read our pay gap reports.  
  • We’re continuing our commitment to tackling anti-Black racism. We stand in solidarity with Black communities, including Black girls, volunteers, staff, parents and carers. And we’ve launched a race equity training programme for staff and senior leaders.   

More collaboration and better communication

We worked to build strong connections with groups in marginalised communities, so we can be a part of the local community for all girls and volunteers. We want people to know about our commitment to this plan. And we want marginalised people to know their voices are represented and important in Girlguiding.  

  • We’ve worked to build trust across our whole community by sharing our commitment to this plan and our ambition.  
  • We’ve shared stories of units and staff teams who are doing an excellent job of putting this plan into action. Read our inclusion stories. 

And there’s more to do

We achieved a lot in the first 2 years of our inclusion plan. Volunteers at every level of guiding have been working really hard to make their units a welcoming place for every girl. But our work to be inclusive doesn’t stop. It’s time for new goals, and a new focus to help us continue to grow and learn.  

Read more about what we’re doing over the next 2 years.