What we’re working on

The things we’re doing and planning to make Girlguiding more inclusive

We’ve done a lot of work to make Girlguiding more inclusive, but there’s always more to be done.  

Our plan will continue to evolve as we learn and grow. The first phase of our plan was about laying the groundwork to help us improve representation of marginalised communities at every level of Girlguiding.  

The second phase of our plan will give us new goals to work on for the next 2 years, from 2023-25. For this phase, our focus is on equity.  

This means that we’re focusing on treating people fairly, depending on their circumstances and needs, rather than treating everyone the same. Although equality aims to promote fairness, this can only happen if everyone starts at the same place or has the same needs. We know that people from marginalised communities often don’t have the same advantages, or equal opportunities as others in society. In order to achieve equality, we first need equity.  

We have 4 inclusion goals for 2023-25.  

1) Increase representation of girls and volunteers of colour and lower socio-economic backgrounds in Girlguiding 

We know Girlguiding is currently not representative of the UK population. And we particularly struggle to attract and retain girls and volunteers of colour and lower socio-economic backgrounds. Girls and volunteers from these backgrounds want to see more role models with lived experiences similar to their own.  

Here’s what we’re going to do:  

  • We’ll give local levels of guiding more tools and support to recruit girls of colour and lower socio-economic backgrounds.  
  • We’ll measure how we’re doing by continuing to improve how we collect information about the demographics of members and staff.  
  • We’ll introduce new UMAs focused on race equity, in partnership with The Black Curriculum, to support volunteers to talk about race more with girls of all ages.

2) Build an equitable culture to enable a more inclusive girl, volunteer and employee experience

In our 2020 audit, members told us they don’t always feel a sense of belonging in Girlguiding. We need to continue improving our culture in order to grow.  

Here’s what we’re going to do:  

  • We’ll make sure our every-day actions and words live up to our values. We are caring, challenging, empowering, fun, inclusive and inspiring. We’ll introduce resources that give all our members guidance on what it means to live these values, and support senior volunteers to have more conversations about them.
  • We’ll set up a peer-to-peer support network for volunteers with marginalised identities.  
  • We’ll provide more tools and training for staff working at Girlguiding to help everyone feel more confident in how to embed inclusion in their work. 

3) Support volunteers on inclusion to improve girls’ experiences of local guiding on the ground

Volunteers are telling us they’re getting an increasing number of inclusion-related enquiries, and that they need more support.  

Here’s what we’re going to do:  

  • We’ll grow our network of inclusion advisers. We currently have a group of advisers who lend support at HQ-level. We want more volunteers at different levels of guiding to have access to the same kind of support and advice.  
  • We’ll set up a pool of volunteer translators and interpreters. And we’ll start translating more of our resources into the languages that are most requested by our members.  
  • We’ll regularly talk to volunteers at different levels of guiding to make sure our support is helping everyone to feel more confident in handling inclusion-related topics.  

4) Make sure there’s more representation of marginalised communities and voices in guiding leadership

Girls, volunteers and staff have told us they want to hear senior leaders in guiding talking about inclusion more. By senior leadership, we mean both staff and volunteers - the senior leadership team at HQ, the trustees, the chief guide team, chief commissioners, and country and region management teams.   

Here’s what we’re going to do:  

  • We’ll introduce targeted workshops and resources for senior leadership, to help everyone feel confident in championing inclusion. This will also help leaders be more accountable for our progress in becoming more inclusive.   
  • We’ll  improve  our own recruitment processes to make sure it’s inclusive.  

We have a lot of work to do, but it’s work we’re excited to be doing with you.  

 So, look out for more updates, resources and support from us on a regular basis. And in the meantime, there’s lots you can do to help.