Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, outlines the Foundation’s commitment to challenge and address structural inequalities and to work towards a society where people from every background can access the same resources, opportunities and power and have the chance to thrive.

“We live in a world where not all of our fellow citizens have access to the same resources, opportunities and power. Structural inequalities in our society, economy and politics hold too many people and communities back on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, health, class or educational background, or indeed a combination of these attributes, denying them their voice and the chance to thrive.

As charities, it is our role and responsibility not just to ameliorate and manage such inequalities and disadvantage but to seek to do all that we can to challenge and change them. And as a Foundation we are acutely aware that our power and privilege reflects the inequalities in our society and that too often a lack of equality, diversity and inclusion in our own make-up and outlook leaves us in danger of being part of the problem rather than core to the solution.

Of course we cannot do this by ourselves, we are one player in a broad ecosystem, but our approach must be more than to do no harm - we must instead be much more ambitious. Therefore as Trustees and staff, directly and with the involvement of partners we work with, we are committing to threading an active approach towards achieving greater equality, diversity and inclusion through all that we do, are and stand for.

What follows is our strategy for the year ahead around making equality, diversity and inclusion a central approach to our work, and to our working culture. It is not a finished product, because we know that it will be a journey that needs revisiting often, to review progress and to commit to building on it and doing more. But it is the setting down of a marker, that we are ready to improve, ready to tackle social injustice at every turn, and ready to be accountable for how we’re doing so. We hope you’ll hold us to it.”

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For more information, please contact Nicholas Smith on nsmith@lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk or 0203 988 3741.