Together we are beautiful
Let me start off by saying that I am immensely proud of the great work performed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation in these difficult and surreal times. Special mention must go to the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG). In the eight month period up to August 2020, LITRG’s website had a staggering 3 million or so visitors (up 17% from the same period in 2019) and some 4.8 million page views. It was great to see LITRG’s valuable support and assistance to those in all walks of life – a vital part of our charitable remit – receiving well-deserved recognition at this year’s Tax Awards.
I have been very pleased to witness first-hand how adaptable and responsive our Institute has been in the face of the many Covid-19 challenges, including the speedy development of our online exams and webinars, as well as our successful online debates. At times, we have had to be brave and work outside our normal comfort zones. In many ways, the Covid-19 disruption has engendered a much closer working relationship between the presidential team and the CIOT executive and senior management. I am truly glad to be part of this indefatigable, wonderful and caring team.
As tax advisers, we are used to the frequent changes in our fiscal world. This also extends to our governance and best business practice. It is our job to make sure that our Institute benefits from the richness and innovation that comes with diversity and inclusion.
As part of the presidential team, it has been an enormous pleasure to attend a number of our admission ceremonies – I should perhaps add
pre-Covid-19! These functions clearly demonstrated to me that our profession attracts an incredibly diverse and inclusive range of talent, including a significant proportion of new BAME members. However, when we look at the ‘make up’ of our ‘volunteer’ branch network and committees, this does not always currently reflect the wide diversity of our membership base.
A similar opinion would also be reached when we examine the composition of the CIOT council. Perhaps this will change as more ‘newly qualifieds’ come through – but we cannot safely assume that this will happen of its own accord, which is one of the main reasons for establishing our new Nominations Committee.
Over the coming months, the Presidential team and council will be taking a closer look at the progression of our new member intake during their career paths. This would look not only at the ‘diversity and inclusivity’ of our volunteer base but will ask wider questions about the engagement of members in the CIOT’s work and activities.
Little did I know when I first qualified that my journey in tax had only just begun! On a personal level, getting involved with the CIOT has provided me with numerous friendships, valuable skills, interesting experiences, professional benefits and enhanced my tax career.
If you have been thinking about getting involved with our Institute, there has probably never been a better time. Everyone is welcome!
As we have seen, our Institute has proved that it is adept and can adapt to the considerable challenges faced by Covid-19. Similarly, I am sure that, like many other professional organisations, we will embrace the current challenges of diversity and inclusion. We accept that this cannot all happen overnight but we all have a big responsibility to ensure that it does. I personally look forward to the time where our governance structure and our strong army of volunteers fully reflect our widely drawn membership base. Together we are beautiful…
It is our job to make sure that our Institute benefits from the richness and innovation that comes with diversity and inclusion.