2018 has seen a lot of discussion about the level of diversity in the charity sector because we do rather like to beat ourselves up. But this is one area where the sector definitely needs to become much more active.

I attended an event earlier this year when the attendees seemed genuinely shocked to discover that ethnic diversity among trustees had actually declined among the largest charities and the number of female non-executive directors was worse than in the FTSE100. 

Now a new report has seen a rise in the number of female finance directors, which is hugely welcome, but it only reverses declines in the largest charities over the last 10 years. 

This is more than being about the value of diverse workforces - it's also about avoiding cultural disconnection and ignorance. 

Too many government policies, no matter how well intentioned, fall down because they don't recognise the reality of the lives of the people they aim to help (tax credits are a classic example). The same can be true of the programmes of charities as well.

At the charity where I'm a trustee we constantly ask ourselves if we know what it's like to be one of our beneficiaries, drawn from at-risk young people from mixed racial and religious communities. Sadly, the answer is essentially no, we simply don't. 

How we put that right is something we are tackling but the traditional ways of recruiting trustees often don't work for this purpose.

Being diverse in your workforce, if you're a charity, is about more than having a happy balance in the office. It's about keeping the broadest knowledge about society as possible.