Shaw Trust champions diversity: gender progress update


Shaw Trust, one of the UK’s leading purpose-led organisations, has achieved one of its stated aims of driving gender parity within its senior leadership team. The charity, which supports more than 200,000 people each year through its employment, education and care work, currently has a workforce of 2,600 staff with 66% of employees women. 

In the last year the senior leadership team membership has moved from 31% women to 53%. Across the organisation senior appointments held by women have increased from 28% to 43% since August 2020. 

Speaking about the increase in gender diversity Mark Earl, Chief People Officer, commented: “At Shaw Trust we welcome the fact that more talented women, including women from ethnically diverse backgrounds, are joining our senior leadership teams across the organisation.  For us diversity is more than a tick box, we are committed to bringing a range of people into our organisation with a diversity of thought, life experience and ways of working.  We believe our increasing diversity has been a significant factor in our resilience, agility, perseverance and innovation throughout the last year and in dealing with Covid-19.”  

Chris Luck, CEO, commented: “We are determined to do more to achieve our diversity goals across all measures of diversity.  Doing so will ensure we have access to the best talent and thought that comes from diversity; this will allow us to deliver the best outcomes to our participants, as well as make us fully representative of the society we serve.”  


Editorial notes 

The gender make-up of the Shaw Trust Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

In August 2020 the SLT was 31% women this has increased to 53% in November 2020. 

The gender make-up of Shaw Trust Seniors (those paid £70,000 per annum or above)

In August 2020 the Seniors were 28% women this has increased to 43% in November 2020. 

What did the Chancellor’s statement mean for women’s employment?

Liz Sewell headshot_0.jpg

Restart and the emphasis on the long term unemployed means that employability programmes will need to look at women returning to work and those who have been carers. 

There was an increase in the National Living Wage which is a positive development for women who make up over two thirds of low paid workers. But that was balanced by the the Public Sector Pay freeze for all those earning over £24,000 as two-thirds of public sector workers.

Job-creating investment was targeted on physical infrastructure like roads and rails; these policies will do little for the many women who have lost jobs  as  12.5% of construction workers are women. Once again, social infrastructure – like social care and childcare- has been left out 

These figures come from the Women’s Budget Group analysys and ERSA will be hosting their Director for this special seminar early next month.

Women, the Covid recession, and making sure the Restart programme delivers sustainable employment
Thursday 10 December, 1-2.30pm

Any organisation that is bidding for a Restart programme needs to understand the impact of the Covid Recession on women. In this session you will hear from the experts on who has been most affected, and how you can develop programmes that meet the real need and deliver sustainable employment.


  • Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson Director, Women’s Budget Group 
  • Professor Julia Rouse, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre Manchester 
  • Rosie Gloster, Senior Research Fellow at Institute for Employment Studies 

Chair: Liz Sewell FIEP, Director of the Belina GRoW programme, supporting women to get ready for work.

Register here for joining link and join the conversation.