Employment news

Save the Children to take action on workplace culture


An independent review into workplace vulture at the charity Save the Children has found that almost one in five staff have experienced harassment or discrimination. Twenty-eight per cent of the 700 current members of staff who responded to the review said they had experienced either discrimination or harassment in the past three years, accounting for 19% of the charity’s total 1,068 staff (not including volunteers). Despite this, 91% of respondents said they took pride in their work for Save the Children and 89% said their colleagues were supportive.

Complaints included people’s opinions being ignored, feeling humiliated and ridiculed, and “a small number of incidents of gender harassment and unwanted sexual attention”. Incidents highlighted in the review covered unwanted sexual attention, comments on dress, “suggestive gestures, staring or touching”, and comments about women being less reliable because of childcare duties or pregnancy.

The review follows widespread criticism for the charity’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints, made by women against former chief executive Justin Forsyth and former director of policy Brendan Cox, and currently being investigated by the Charity Commission.

The review has called on Save the Children to improve its staff governance, setting out five key recommendations: to work collaboratively with staff to reform the organisation, to tackle workplace ‘incivility’ and increase staff support, to increase diversity in the workforce and board, to review its whistleblowing procedures when complaints are made, and to ensure HR is properly supported.