Our equality and diversity policy

Our statement on recent coverage about our equality and diversity policy

01 December 2017

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, Girlguiding:

There has been a lot of media interest in the past few days about Girlguiding’s policy on transgender young people. Girlguiding has been providing a fun, adventurous, supportive space for girls and young women for over 100 years. We are for all girls and always have been. Through our current equality and diversity policy, in place since 2016, we have sought to be responsive and proactive to changing legal requirements and also the changing needs of young people.
In honesty, this is not a simple matter and we know that schools, local authorities and other youth organisations like ourselves are working through the same questions around how best to specifically support transgender children and young people as part of the work we do to support all young people. We are aware that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is currently working on national guidance for schools around transgender inclusion which we look forward to taking into account in our own guidance going forward. We will continue to have open conversations with our young people, parents and volunteers to ensure that our guidance around transgender young members is as clear as possible.
Much of the media coverage has been alarmist, this is disappointing and unnecessary. As an organisation dedicated to supporting girls and young women we have robust processes and procedures which are updated on an ongoing basis to ensure all girls and young women who are part of guiding are supported to have a fun, safe and positive time. The wellbeing of all our young members is always at the heart of everything we do and will continue to be.”