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Blog Post 29 September 2021

Meet our new diversity and inclusion lead, Daisy

To celebrate National Inclusion Week (27 September – 3 October), we sat down with Energy Saving Trust’s new diversity and inclusion (D&I) lead, Daisy Crowfoot, to find out more about her role and the importance of D&I in the workplace.

Can you introduce yourself?

I am Daisy, my pronouns are she/they and I joined Energy Saving Trust as the diversity and inclusion lead in March 2021.

This is my first role in the environmental sector, and I am delighted to be here! I care deeply about the climate crisis and am really enjoying working in such a mission-led organisation with passionate, knowledgeable and supportive colleagues.

My previous role was in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team at Queen Mary University of London and before that, I was at Wellcome Trust.

Outside of work, I am still working to smash the patriarchy but also love being outdoors and hiking, reading, watching an eclectic mix of TV, cats, cooking and eating vegan food and tending to my many houseplants!

Can you tell us more about your role as D&I lead?

To be a truly diverse, inclusive and equitable organisation, it is not enough to have a single person dedicated to D&I work. My role is certainly not to ‘do’ D&I on behalf of the whole organisation; it’s to facilitate meaningful and sustained cultural change at Energy Saving Trust by ensuring that everyone is a part of this important work.

I aim to support and empower colleagues to better understand and more confidently engage with D&I related issues so that we can all embed principles of inclusion and equity in our everyday work (and lives). A large part of this support is about creating opportunities for ongoing education and learning – whether that’s through formal training, 1:1 support and advice, the creation of resources and guidance materials, or creating space for colleagues to share their experiences and listen to and learn from others.

Since the role of D&I lead is new at Energy Saving Trust, I have the exciting opportunity to shape our organisational approach to D&I from the beginning. Over the last six months, I have been working with colleagues to co-develop our first D&I strategy. The strategy outlines our broad commitment to D&I, setting out where we are currently along our ‘D&I journey’, where we want to be, and how we intend to get there. It’s my role to now oversee the implementation of this strategy and hold us accountable to our commitments.

What does D&I mean to you?

I think it’s important to firstly recognise that ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ mean different things.

Diversity just means difference. In a workplace, this means having people who are different from each other, in relation to protected characteristics (eg race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability etc), background (eg socioeconomic background, class, educational background) as well as ways of thinking and working, personalities, approaches, and so on. Diversity is not always visible.

Inclusion is about how people feel. To me, an inclusive environment or workplace is one where within a diverse group of people, everyone feels comfortable being themselves and are supported to thrive and succeed.

There is a risk that the term ‘D&I’ gets thrown around in a vague and often tokenistic way. To do this work properly, we need to go beyond general ‘inclusion’ and work specifically (and intersectionally) to achieve justice and equity relating to race, disability, LGBTQIA+ identities, gender and socio-economic background, as well as other important aspects of identity and experience. This involves having important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about privilege and power in our society, as well as our workplaces.

D&I is a complex, ever-evolving area, and so I am always listening to and learning from a variety of lived experiences, research and best practice. I don’t have all the answers and I haven’t always got it right, but I’m always looking for opportunities to learn and do better. I am forever grateful to those who I continue to learn from.

Why is D&I important to Energy Saving Trust?

For Energy Saving Trust, D&I is the right thing to do both as an employer and as a changemaker addressing the climate emergency.

While climate change affects everyone, it has a disproportionate impact on people and communities that already experience various forms of disadvantage and marginalisation. Women, people from racially minoritised and indigenous communities, disabled people and people on low incomes are among those who continue to be hardest hit by the climate emergency. We also know that some of the ‘solutions’ to climate change, such as clean energy, sustainable transport, warmer homes and energy efficient appliances are not always accessible to everyone. We want to develop equitable responses to address the climate emergency for everyone. This includes work to support those who experience various forms of disadvantage and are often marginalised in our societies.

To do this urgent work, we need a diversity of people, experiences and ideas. We want to create an inclusive and equitable workplace where our people are representative of the areas in which we work, able to be themselves and supported to be their best.

Can you tell us a bit more about the new strategy and what’s next for D&I at Energy Saving Trust?

We have taken an evidence-based and people-centred approach to developing the strategy, drawing on a range of data, including our first employee inclusion survey. It’s important to me that colleagues across Energy Saving Trust have shaped, and will continue to shape, the strategy. We all own it, and all have a responsibility to embed it across the organisation.

The strategy itself has two key objectives and areas of strategic focus. The first is about becoming an inclusive employer (internally facing) and the second about becoming an inclusive changemaker (externally facing, focused on our mission-led programmes and services).

Over the next two years, we will focus on transforming our culture internally and becoming a more inclusive employer. There is more information about the new strategy and some of the activities we have planned on our webpage here.

We are very much at the start of our D&I journey. The strategy is an exciting first step, but we know we still have a long way to go, and that change won’t happen overnight.

We are committed to the ongoing nature of this work and to continually challenging ourselves to be better. Watch this space for updates.

Diversity and inclusion at Energy Saving Trust

Working to embed a culture of inclusion and equity is strongly aligned with our organisational values and mission. However, we want to do more than just talk about diversity and inclusion; we want to take real and meaningful action.

Find out more

Last updated: 23 September 2021