As a leading communal organisation, we recognise how important it is for JCA to serve as a beacon of excellence, fostering inclusivity and embracing best practices across all our endeavours. It's clear that achieving a truly representative and talented lay leadership necessitates proactive measures rather than relying solely on organic processes.

To this end, JCA and its constituent bodies are steadfast in our commitment to cultivating equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within our leadership, workforce, and broader stakeholder community. We understand that to thrive, we must harness the diverse talents and perspectives of individuals who may have been historically marginalised.

Our pledge encompasses elevating under-represented voices, particularly those of women, and fostering a culture that values diverse viewpoints and challenges conventional norms. We firmly believe that by actively addressing unconscious biases and fostering a meritocratic environment, we can unlock the full potential of our community.

While we have made significant progress in recent years, we acknowledge there is still work to be done. Informed by both internal and external research, a dedicated sub-committee of the JCA Executive has formulated six recommendations to enhance gender diversity and inclusion within our organisations. These recommendations, approved by the Board of Governors, represent a strategic step towards broader diversity initiatives.

Recognising that gender diversity is but one facet of a larger EDI framework, we are committed to expanding our focus to encompass other dimensions of diversity in due course. We believe that by starting with gender balance, we can create a foundation conducive to embracing broader diversity initiatives over time.

Realising our vision of greater gender equality requires collective commitment from all leaders and organisations within our community. We encourage each organisation to set its own objectives, develop tailored policies, and track progress accordingly. JCA stands ready to provide resources and support to facilitate this journey.

Internally, we have set a gender balance target of 40% men, 40% women, and 20% of any gender for our lay leader committees, with the expectation that our Executive Committee composition will mirror this diversity. While progress has been made, our current figures indicate room for improvement, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of these goals.

As we embark on this transformative endeavour, let us collectively affirm the value that diversity brings to our community. Together, we can forge a legacy of inclusivity that not only enhances outcomes but also resonates for generations to come.