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8. Sex

Last Updated: August 2020

According to the Equality Act 2010, sex discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their sex. This can occur due to a one-off action, or can be caused by a rule or policy. Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful, however in some cases being treated differently due to sex is lawful – further information on these lawful exceptions can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

The Equality Act 2010 defines sex as either male or female; or a group of people such as men or boys, or women or girls. There are different forms of sex discrimination including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation.

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 uses the term sex, SVC recognises that gender identity is a term used to define a person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.  Non-binary is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’.  Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.

At SVC, we are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusion in our actions, projects, and practices.

  1. Our Equal Opportunities 2020 policy outlines that sex discrimination is unlawful. Please read the policy for more information;
  2. Anyone involved in SVC is encouraged to report any form of sex discrimination to SVC staff, SVC Board of Trustees, or the HR department at Innovate Trust. Please read our Problem Solving Procedure 2020 for more information;
  3. According to SVC’s Annual Report 2019-2020 our volunteers were:

    79% female
    20% male
    1% non-binary/third gender

    Accordingly, SVC commits to promoting volunteering opportunities widely in order to recruit a more representative demographic of volunteers;
  4. SVC strives to represent a diverse range of volunteers and beneficiaries relating to gender in promotional materials;
  5. Please see SVC’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Commitments page for more commitments.


Equality Human Rights Website (2020) Sex Discrimination. Available at:

SVC’s Policies and Procedures (2020) Equal Opportunities Policy. Available at: