Save the Children: Taking Action on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Feb. 1, 2021) – Save the Children reaffirms our unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, openly reflecting on and sharing the progress we have made, the work we have underway and the opportunities where we still have room to learn and grow. We shared our last DEI update in October, and will continue to do so on a quarterly basis.

Save the Children envisions a world where every child gets the future they deserve. To achieve this, we must provide a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment for our staff, reflective of the communities in which we work and the children and families we serve. We are steadfast and earnest in our ambition to fight discrimination of all forms, create more opportunities for employment and advancement, and in the process, drive progress for the world’s children.

Here’s where we are today:

Our Progress Made 

  • Fifty-eight percent of our senior leadership team identifies as women.
  • In Q4, we hosted two “Courageous Conversations” for hundreds of staff, focused on desegregating the conversation around racism as well as implicit and unconscious bias.
  • Save the Children Action Network worked with a DEI consultant to provide a continuing series of trainings for our Volunteer Leaders and Student Ambassadors across the U.S.
  • In Q4, 55% of all hires identified as diverse, an increase of 11% over the previous year. In 2020, we increased the overall diversity of our applicant pool from 49% to 53% (excluding our Head Start staff).
  • We are using a new tool to eliminate gender bias language in our job descriptions and job postings.

Our Work Underway

  • We will welcome a diverse class of new Trustees to our Board in February 2021, increasing Trustees who identify as a person of color from 25 to 32%.
  • We will support and amplify our B.L.A.C.K. (Brave Leaders Advancing Culture & Knowledge) Employee Affinity Group’s plans for Black History Month.
  • We are attending job fairs with at least eight HBCUs and three other universities with known diverse student populations this quarter.
  • Beginning in February, the Racial Equity Institute will host virtual workshops for our staff to help us build a practical understanding of structural racism.
  • We will announce an internal mentorship program in Q1, focused on building our pipeline of diverse talent and designed with the support of an outside partner.
  • We are finalizing a broad review of our compensation structure this quarter, which will include a fairness analysis to ensure there is pay equity regardless of race or gender.
  • We are developing plans for disability inclusion in our USG-advocacy on foreign aid, based on the guidance of an external consultant.
  • We have hired an external ethicist to help review our global image and content guidelines. We will train staff how to use images thoughtfully so we do not perpetuate stereotypes.

Our Gaps and Opportunities

  • We have come to learn that not all of the technology we currently use is accessible. Moving forward, we will take steps to ensure all employees can access the technology they need to successfully perform their jobs.
  • In regards to the small businesses we work with, we still need to determine which of these are minority-owned, and set targets for any external partners we retain in the future.
  • We are currently hiring for a Senior Program Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, who will be responsible for advancing Save the Children’s strategic direction in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Save the Children is resolute in our efforts to dismantle racism, fight discrimination and foster more inclusion within our organization, the communities where we work and the humanitarian sector more broadly. We will always speak out for equal rights, aim to empower the children and families we serve and support those who are excluded to use their own voices to drive progress in the United States and around the world.

Taking action to aggressively confront all forms of discrimination is critical to ensuring that Save the Children is a more inclusive, equitable place where everyone can succeed and bring their whole, authentic selves to work. It is only then we will truly be able to effect the scale of progress we are seeking for the world’s children. We will continue to listen to and learn directly from people’s lived experiences to better understand racial injustice, inequality and privilege, how that impacts the work we do and how together, we can bring about 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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