BLOG: The G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge – One Year On

By Geeta Nanda OBE Chief Executive, MTVH

  • 27 May 2021

It’s been one year since we came together to sign the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge, committing our members to make meaningful progress to better reflect the ethnic diversity of the communities they represent – particularly at senior managerial, leadership and board levels.

The past year has been one of change and uncertainty. As a sector, we have faced major new challenges as we’ve steered our organisations through remote working and adapted our services to support London’s communities. We have all witnessed the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on ethnic minority communities and the need for continued and strengthened work to address structural inequalities in the UK

We also felt the impact of the tragic murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and subsequent reinvigoration of the global Black Lives Matter movement. This provided a stark reminder of the systemic racism that persists across the world, including in the UK, and the need for organisations to seriously reflect upon how we can play our part in making real, lasting change.

The work of our members during the pandemic has shown just how deep our connection with communities run and, as we look towards recovery, we want our organisations to better reflect the communities we work in, so that the decisions we make are the right ones for the needs of all Londoners. This ambition extends to taking an active role in tackling the structural inequalities that affect many of our residents and colleagues - from race and ethnicity, to gender, disability and deprivation.

As a provider of 1 in 10 London homes, we strongly believe that Londoners’ diversity sits at the heart of what makes our city such a thriving place to call home. We play a key role in supporting diverse and inclusive communities; from the homes we build and maintain, to the work we do across our communities.

Since the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge was signed, we have set in motion a number of initiatives aimed at improving ethnic diversity at senior level, including:

  • A review of approaches to recruitment;
  • The launch of the Accelerate leadership development programme, which aims to nurture existing black, Asian and minority ethnic talent within the sector and;
  • Collectively, the proportion of ethnic minorities represented on our boards has increased from 14% in 2019 to 20% in 2021.

This booklet summarises progress made since April 2020 but we are by no means finished, and remain committed to our original ambitions of becoming more visibly diverse at all levels of our organisations, collaborating to invest and support ethnic minority talent, and to celebrate the achievements of our ethnic minority colleagues. If there’s one thing the events of this year have taught us however, is that there is far more work that needs to be done.

Through collating these case studies, we want to celebrate the collective progress G15 members have made against these pledges and renew our commitment to driving further change in embedding inclusivity into the sector’s culture at every level. If we want to see a stronger and fairer London emerge from the pandemic, we must first look within our organisations to create representative leadership that can effectively support the diverse communities we serve.

The G15 Diversity Pledge: One Year On