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Chair
Dalit Solidarity Network UK
  • Salary Unpaid role, expenses paid
  • Location London, Greater London,London, Greater London (Hybrid)
  • Job Type Voluntary
  • Category Trustees , Advocacy
  • Sectors Human Rights
  • Job Reference : Chair-DSN UK

Job Description

Formed in 1998, the Dalit Solidarity Network-UK (DSN UK) is a human rights organisation that brings together individuals and organisations concerned about the continued violation of human rights as a result of caste-based discrimination, as it occurs in the UK and in South Asia.

Registering as an official charity in 2003, DSN UK continues to grow as an effective campaigning and advocacy organisation. We do this by amplifying the voices of those affected by caste-based discrimination towards target actors that have power and influence to help eliminate and remedy such discrimination and its effects. 

We are fortunate to have the support of other human rights organisations with whom we work closely, including the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), which focuses on highlighting the issues on the global stage. 

The focus of DSN UK’s our work is on advocacy and lobbying to influence for legal and policy frameworks for addressing caste based discrimination in the UK and in other caste affected countries. Some of our ongoing work include campaigning for caste legislation in UK, documenting experiences of ‘Everyday Casteism’ in the UK, working with businesses to address caste-based discrimination in UK workplaces and in supply chains, and supporting UK higher education institutions to address caste-based discrimination.

DSN UK currently has one full-time Director, and one part-time Communications Officer.

The Chair:

We are looking for a dedicated individual who is committed to the elimination of caste-based discrimination to support our organisation in an exciting new phase of work in the UK and in South Asia in solidarity with other activists.

The role of the Chair is to lead the board of trustees, ensuring that it fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation. The Chair must also work closely with the employees to support them in achieving the aims of the organisation, and act as the channel of communication between trustees and staff.  The Chair may act as a figurehead of the organisation and represent it at functions, meetings and in the press and broadcasting media. Other tasks include authorising action to be taken between meetings of the full board, signing cheques and legal documents.

This role is mainly home-based but will require travel to London for the Annual General Meeting of the DSN-UK and at least one other in-person Board meeting per year. 

The responsibilities of the Chair will include:

  • providing leadership for the board of trustees in their role of setting the strategy and policy of the organisation
  • supporting the board of trustees to work together well, and in support of the aims of the organisation
  • ensuring the organisation complies with the DSN UK Constitution, organisation law, and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • ensuring that the composition of the board of trustees incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern and lead the charity effectively
  • planning the annual cycle of board meetings
  • setting agendas for, and chairing, board meetings
  • monitoring that decisions taken at meetings are implemented
  • representing the organisation at functions and meetings, and acting as a spokesperson as appropriate
  • liaising with the Director to keep an overview of the organisation's affairs and providing support as appropriate
  • ensuring that the Director is held to account for achieving agreed objectives
  • leading the process of appraising the performance of the Director and employees
  • sitting on appointment and disciplinary panels.

Person specification for a Chair

In addition to the qualities needed by all trustees, the Chair should also possess the following:

  • leadership skills and experience
  • ability to think strategically
  • experience of committee work, tact and diplomacy
  • a broad understanding of finance issues affecting charities and small organisations
  • impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences
  • knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation and a wider involvement with the voluntary sector and other network
  • time to perform the role effectively.

Commitment:

Attendance at quarterly board meetings plus ad hoc phone/email contact; approximately 15 hours per quarter.  The appointment normally will be for three years in the first instance. This role is voluntary, but reasonable travel expenses for board meetings will be reimbursed.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.