Scheme to diversify housing leadership nominated for national award

Achieving & Harnessing Board Diversity (Demo)

A project intended to nurture a more diverse leadership in housing has been nominated for a national diversity award.

Achieving & Harnessing Board Diversity, as the project is known, is being pioneered by Together Housing Group and Progress Housing Group in partnership with Housing Diversity Network (HDN).

The project has been announced as a contender in the Most Innovative Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Initiative category in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards 2020.

Together Housing has also seen one of its board diversity champions also nominated for an award. Michelle Park will be considered for the Board Member of the Year award after overseeing changes to the organisation’s approach to equality and diversity.

“I am honoured to [be considered] in these awards and I am delighted that the project has had a lot of recognition for how it is working towards improving board diversity,” she said. “We believe that our tenants’ diverse communities deserve to be represented by diverse board members. It means we can value and respect the contributions of everybody in the communities in which we operate.”

Between them, the housing associations involved in the project have appointed 11 candidates to the programme. Of these, five identify as BME (45% compared to the industry average of 6.8%) and seven of whom are female (64% compared to the industry average of 36%).

Jacqui De-Rose, group chief executive of Progress Housing Group, said: “Our board developed the Achieving & Harnessing Board Diversity project with Together Housing Group and the Housing Diversity Network to enable underrepresented people to gain access to non-executive board training and opportunities and to tackle inequality and promote diversity.

“Since its conception, the project has already ensured wider representation of our society and communities and is building strong governance for the future. We are very proud to be a part of this initiative and absolutely delighted it is being recognised with a national diversity award nomination.”

Mushtaq Khan from HDN added: “Board diversity has been a pressing issue in the housing field for years. All the evidence states that diverse boards and executive teams make better business decisions, which leads to improved customer satisfaction. We’re delighted to be at the forefront of this initiative and encourage other organisations to become involved.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 16h January at Hotel Ibis in London.


Main Image: (Left to right, back to front) Rebecca Greenwood, Shazad Sarwar, Angela Gibbs, Amy Martinez, Adam Dennett, Katie Farr Hockley, Samantha Haslam and sat next to her is Luke Jno-Baptiste, Ahmed Makda and Shubash Miah



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