Far To Go: Diversity and inclusion in UK social research

With the Social Research Association, we are delighted to launch the first ever research on diversity and inclusion across the social research profession. With many thanks to Kantar Public and Power to Change for funding the project.

This report sets out the findings from the first comprehensive survey of the views and experiences of UK social researchers on issues of diversity and inclusion within the sector. It captures, through a survey of almost 1,000 social research professionals, views on the overall state of diversity and inclusion in the profession, then perceptions and experiences of working in the sector and its responses to diversity and inclusion challenges. Interviews with social researchers from a range of backgrounds, and professionals from each sector have added depth of insight.

Key findings

1. There is a strong perception that the profession could do better in terms of how representative it is of wider society, the extent to which diversity and inclusion are valued, and how research is funded and designed.

2. Social researchers from marginalised groups tend to have negative experiences of working in the profession. The profession struggles to include and accommodate for a diversity of identities, backgrounds and circumstances, despite good intentions.

3. Organisations appear to value diversity and inclusion but, based on their experience, employees don’t think efforts so far have made the difference needed. There is a strong feeling that the profession needs to do more to address diversity and inclusion effectively.

The report makes five overarching recommendations, calling on all organisations and individuals working in the social research sector to actively engage with and respond to in order to drive change. You can download the report here.