Social media stooshie over charity leaders list

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An online discussion broke out after Scotland's influential leaders were snubbed from a UK list highlighting the sector's talent

1st November 2019 by Gareth Jones 3 Comments

The breadth of talent in Scotland’s voluntary sector has been highlighted after leaders were snubbed in a-UK wide vote.

The #hellofromnorthoftheborder discussion began on social media this week after Charity Times published its 25 most influential charity leaders list.

As part of the magazine's 25th anniversary, readers were invited to vote for the leaders that have had a profound impact on the way the current sector operates and/or is adapting to the future.

Among those featured were Julia Unwin, chair of Civil Society Futures; Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising; Sir Stuart Etherington, former chief executive of the NCVO; and Zoe Amar, chair of the Digital Code of Practice.

However social media users highlighted that there were no leaders from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland in the list.

This prompted the use of the hashtag to highlight the talent within the devolved nations.

Those taking part in the debate included Fiona Duncan of the Corra Foundation, Children 1st’s Mary Glasgow, Jonny Kinross of the Grassmarket Community Project and SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie.

A host of influential leaders from organisations across Scotland were highlighted by those taking part.

In response, Charity Times said it recognised the regional disparity in the list, and said it is looking at conduction more localised projects.

Editor Lauren Weymouth said: “The results of our survey have certainly highlighted a regional disparity and we really welcome the feedback, which we are taking on board to create more localised lists. However, we asked our national readership to nominate leaders over the period of a couple of months, following which the results were compiled based on those most frequently nominated, and which could clearly demonstrate a profound impact on the sector. We would not want to change these results – this wouldn’t be fair, or indeed possible at this stage – but unfortunately it did so happen that the majority are from the South and Greater London.

“We want to celebrate the work of charities and leaders across the whole of the UK and so our planned projects, which will take on a more localised and targeted approach, is something we are looking forward to undertaking in due course.

“Overall, though, at a time when the sector is recovering from years of cuts and reputational damage, our key priority is to ensure we keep acknowledging and celebrating great, and influential, leadership – wherever that may be.”  

1st November 2019 by In poor taste

I watched the social media storm unfold on Twitter. It was unpleasant to watch all these highly paid “Leaders” demand to be recognise. Narcissistic tendencies are rife in Scotland.Its a club where they spend far to much time telling each other how great they are that they forget the people they lead and advocate for and many never even mentioned their organisations!!Instead of seeking accolades for themselves time would be better spent advocating for their organisations great work and the amazing staff and volunteers who keep them in a job.It really showed why they should not be recognised. They have massive egos that really are just imagined in most cases sadly .Shame on those that took part and respect to those who retained their dignity and carried on doing their job !!Can’t believe TFN thought this newsworthy !

2nd November 2019 by Ruchir Shah

While it was very much a London-centric list, it was also a very diverse and balanced list of backgrounds, ethnicities, gender and age in the list, which I applaud.

6th November 2019 by Annie Silver

This "regional disparity" reinforces the idea that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are only regions of England, not countries in their own right. "We would not want to change these results – this wouldn’t be fair, or indeed possible at this stage – but unfortunately it did so happen that the majority are from the South and Greater London." And this just shows how London-entric everything is...