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Charities need to deal with the white man problem, but don't get personal

Towards the end of last week, NCVO made a big announcement. Its next chief executive would be… Karl Wilding, currently director of policy and volunteering and sector lifer. 

He’s also a white man, who has undeniably benefited from all the privilege that being a white man has to offer. This meant that once the initial wave of congratulations was over there were murmurings from some corners of the sector about the thorny issue of diversity, or the lack of. 

On Friday, Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the Directory of Social Change, tweeted: “@karlwilding is a super talent, I’m a fan & his appointment as CEO reflects well on him. He has my full support. But the appointment of a white man casts deep shade on the stated commitment of @NCVO Board to reflect diversity & inclusivity. Proud of him, disappointed in them.”

Then over the weekend Mandy Johnson, founder of Great Charity Speakers, wrote a blog where she too said she thought Karl would do an excellent job, but questioned whether white men should be stepping aside. 

“The chances are that, if Karl hadn’t put himself forward, another white man probably would…and he may have been less qualified,” she wrote.

See more by visiting Civil Society website.