Save the Children's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Oct. 22, 2020) – In mid-July, Save the Children published a “Commitment to Act on Racial Equity.” Today, we are taking the opportunity to openly reflect on the progress we have made, the work we are currently doing and the gaps we still need to address on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), including our efforts to become an actively anti-racist organization. Our senior leadership team shares the organization’s passion for continuing to advance this important work as part of our strategic priorities, which will ultimately make us a better and more impactful organization. Moving forward, we will share progress on our DEI work, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis.

Here’s where we are today:

Listen and Learn

We reaffirm our commitment to creating safe spaces for dialogue at all levels, where staff and the children and families we aim to serve have a voice, are heard and can collectively effect change.

  • From Privilege to Progress, a national movement to desegregate the public conversation about race and racism, is hosting a “Courageous Conversation” on Oct. 29 for a number of our leaders and colleagues directly engaged in our anti-racist work.
  • We’ve held a number of divisional and small-group discussions where staff can discuss institutional, systemic and structural racism, and how these manifest in our work and daily interactions.
  • We are working with one of our peers to create a sector-wide “Courageous Conversation.”
  • In September, our Board took the opportunity to understand the issues of systemic racism and its impact on children in the U.S. They also looked at our progress made against these commitments. The topic will come back on the Board agenda in February 2021.

Our Leadership

We are intentionally looking at how to increase diversity among our organization’s senior leadership and board. We’re actively taking steps as leaders to advance diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within our divisions and collectively for the organization.

  • In mid-November, our new CIO will join the organization, at which point, 55 percent of our senior leadership team will identify as women.
  • We are actively reviewing and pursuing a pipeline of diverse new trustees who will join our Board in February 2021.

Talent & Opportunity

We continue our efforts to build a diverse talent pipeline by establishing diverse candidate slates and interview panels, as well as developing plans to provide our employees of color greater access to opportunities for growth.

  • We are working to intentionally deepen the diversity of our talent pool by cultivating partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and a number of Latinx organizations.
  • We are in the midst of conducting a broad review of our compensation structure with an external partner, which will include a fairness analysis to ensure there is pay equity regardless of race or gender.
  • We are in the final phase of identifying an external partner who will provide anti-racist training for all our staff. This training will roll out in phases, beginning at the end of 2020 and into 2021.

Our Work

Save the Children will always advocate for, empower and amplify the voices and views of the most marginalized, in the United States and around the world.  

  • We are shifting a significant portion of our technical expertise and resources to the countries where we work in by the end of 2022. In the U.S., all of our national positions for rural education will now be based in Berea, Ky., and we are currently recruiting local staff in Miss., S.C., and Tenn.
  • Our public policy and advocacy team is leading a social justice taskforce as part of a foreign aid coalition, which will make recommendations to the next administration on humanitarian and development efforts.
  • Save the Children Action Network has hired a DEI facilitator to train our volunteers across the U.S.
  • A cross-functional and geographically diverse team has been formed to review our global image and content guidelines. We are actively seeking input from our Employee Affinity Groups on this work.
  • We have evaluated the external partners we work with and currently, 20 percent of our vendors and 30 percent of our consultants are small businesses. Moving forward, we will work to further define small business into sub-categories, including minority-owned businesses, set targets and report back quarterly.

Still, for all the progress made, there are other areas that will require a greater focus and an accelerated pace. We will continue to pursue this work with the passion and rigor it deserves.

  • We must plan more cross-divisional “Courageous Conversations” for all-staff, and proactively discuss how we can embed advancing DEI into every single person’s daily responsibilities and priorities.  
  • We must work more closely with our Employee Affinity Groups, particularly our B.L.A.C.K. (Brave Leaders Advancing Culture & Knowledge) EAG, to engage a diversity of perspectives in this work and better support our Black employees.
  • We will support and help drive a global effort for Save the Children that will start to look at the many aspects of localization, from our business model to our ways of working, including, but not limited to, our work with local partners.

We continue to reflect where we have room to learn and grow from our colleagues around the world, our partners and the children and families we serve. We remain committed to listening, being visible and vocal in our support, and lifting each other up in our effort to effect real, lasting and meaningful change.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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