Working in an organisation the size of Akvo (growing quickly, just over 30 people now) means you’re always coming across things that need to be established for the first time. We’ve just applied for (and secured – hurrah!) a grant from Cisco Inc. These processes always bring up the need for new steps in an organisation’s policies and processes, especially as we’re expanding into more US partnerships. Cisco wanted to know what our non-discrimination policy was. I think we’d already established values on this but it had never been formalised. So we wrote it down, got feedback from our advisory board, and now have a policy.

It’s set out below, in case you’re interested. Joyce Kent is working to bring all our policies together in one place online and we’ll be sure to share a link to the set when that’s ready.

Policy on non-discrimination

The Akvo Foundation is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants. We aim to create a working environment in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which decisions are based on merit.

We do not discriminate against staff on the basis of age, disability, political views, civil status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, gender ressignment or sexual orientation.

The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.

Akvo seeks to support organisations that are substantially in line with our non-discrimination policy. Akvo may terminate its provision of services to organisations that are found to unlawfully discriminate through the use of those services and / or through their hiring practices.

All staff have a duty to act in accordance with this policy and treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff, regardless of their status.

Mark Charmer is a co-founder of Akvo.

Update 25 February 2014: All our policies are now online under “Help > Policies and Terms” here.