Missing the point
In raising a question in the Q&A session at the AGM, a member of the Council noted that there had been no female candidates for the vacancies on the Board of Trustees, which she felt was a poor reflection on the Association’s commitment to equal opportunities.
She was of course right about the gender balance, and we reported on many actions we are taking, but in responding, we were so focussed on the issue of inclusivity that we overlooked the most obvious fact
There had indeed been a female candidate for the Trustee roles, but it had been for the nominated youth representative, and sadly none of us had thought to include the role set aside for a youth Member as a Trustee position. Certainly this was not intentional, as those of you that know us will appreciate, however it said more about our approach to youth involvement than anything else.
Shifting the culture
During our afternoon discussion on youth involvement, the point was made that we need a seismic shift in our approach to young people in order to achieve our vision of Scouting being 'shaped by young people in partnership with adults'.
The discussion revealed many interesting suggestions and observations on our youth involvement strategy which will be taken on board by that working group, my team and others, as we take forward our work in this area.
But the most underlying change may come from a simple suggestion from the floor, which is that all Commissioners should have a young mentor rather than it being perceived as the other way round.