We are committed to being an inclusive, diverse, culturally competent and anti-racist organisation.

That means we are committed to acknowledging, and taking action against structural, institutional and interpersonal racism. More specifically, in the context of our work, we are committed to addressing racism in the maternity, criminal justice, social services and immigration systems, the Voluntary and Community sector, and in our own organisation.

We want Birth Companions to be a safe and supportive organisation for Black and Asian women, and women from all other groups who experience racism, to work, volunteer or be supported in.

We recognise that our commitment needs to be rooted in action within our organisation and in our external activities. This work requires a continual process of active learning and improvement.

This anti-racism statement is a working document, which represents not just a public statement of intent, but also a point of reference to which we will return regularly, in order to hold ourselves accountable and continue to prioritise this work.

At Birth Companions we:

  • Recognise that structural, institutional and interpersonal racism negatively impacts the experiences and outcomes of Black and Asian women, and those of women from all other groups who experience racism;
  • Acknowledge experiences of racism, both overt and subtle, as a form of trauma. We are working to reflect and address this in our organisation’s trauma-informed approach, policy and procedures;
  • Are committed to using our position as experts working with women experiencing multiple disadvantage during pregnancy and early motherhood to challenge policies and systems that perpetuate structural and institutional racism. In particular, though not exclusively, we are committed to doing this within the context of the maternity, criminal justice, social care and immigration systems in which our work is primarily located. Recent evidence tells us that Black women are almost four times as likely to die during the perinatal period as white women, while both Asian women and women of mixed ethnicity are almost twice as likely to die (MBRRACE-UK 2022). Stark disparities like these highlight the need for sustained anti-racist work to ensure the safety and improve the health outcomes of women who experience racism
  • Aim to amplify the voices of Black and Asian women, and of women from all other groups who experience racism, through the work of our Lived Experience Team; 
  • Actively support the work of organisations led by and for Black and Asian women, and women from all other groups who experience racism; 
  • Review our internal policies, practice and training regularly to ensure that our organisational practices reflect our position as an anti-racist organisation;
  • Support our staff and volunteers to develop a better understanding of racism and cultural competency through regular training and discussion;
  • Challenge language or behaviour that may be construed as racist, or discriminatory, whether intentional or otherwise;
  • Ensure that all reports of racist behaviour are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately;
  • Engage experts to help us ensure we are following best practice.

We know that change doesn’t happen without action. We are committed to:

  • Mandatory anti-racist and cultural training, for all our staff and volunteers as a mandatory 
  • A Code of Conduct and meeting ground rules that clearly articulate our expectations to everyone involved in our organisation about the use of culturally appropriate language and behaviour;
  • Ensuring our recruitment practices are non-discriminatory and protect all candidates from unconscious bias through:
    • Ensuring staff are trained to understand and carry out best practice in selection and interview processes using our standardised scoring on all aspects of selection;
    • Anonymised shortlisting; 
    • Reviewing the language used on adverts and recruitment to ensure that candidates from ethnic minorities are attracted to our roles;
    • Using new channels to ensure that our job adverts and recruitment reaches as wide and as diverse audience as possible; 
    • The use of positive action to improve the diversity of our staff and volunteer team.
  • Reviewing practice and procedures to ensure we are a psychologically safe working environment for staff and volunteers who are Black, Asian, or from other groups who experience racism. These comprise:
    • The creation of clear processes to ensure that staff and volunteers feel safe and comfortable reporting racist behaviour;
    • The appointment of a trustee to act as a first point of contact where reporting such behaviours to white colleagues or line managers may be difficult or trigger previous trauma;
    • Specialist therapeutic support and reflective practice for Black and Asian staff/volunteers, or those from other groups who experience racism, who may find witnessing, hearing about or experiencing racism in the course of their work particularly triggering.
  • Regularly convening our anti-racist working group made up of trustees, staff, volunteers and women from our Lived Experience Team, to lead our anti-racism work;
  • Regularly reviewing any incidents of racism experienced or witnessed by our staff, volunteers and the women we work with, including a review of our response; 
  • Providing resources on our website on health inequalities and structural racism within healthcare systems, to help contribute to wider learning; 
  • Use our social media accounts to highlight the work of anti-racist educators and activists, particularly in the areas of health inequalities and criminal justice.

Birth Companions is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1120934 at Office 118, 372 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT, England. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
Log in | Powered by White Fuse