G15 Accelerate – in their own words – Asif Khan

In 2020, G15 Chief Executive’s signed the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge, committing members to achieving meaningful change to support minority ethnic colleagues and to better reflect the communities we serve throughout our organisations.

As part of the pledge, we committed to collaborate to invest and support our minority ethnic talent. From this, the G15 Accelerate programme was launched.

G15 Accelerate is a high calibre Chartered Management Institute (CMI) leadership development programme that’s open to minority ethnic managers who want to accelerate their career trajectory. The programme aims to break down barriers facing talented minority ethnic people, with 37 colleagues completing the first edition of the course.

With the second edition of G15 Accelerate launching this summer, we caught up with Asif Khan, Head of Asset Management at Notting Hill Genesis and G15 Accelerate Programme 1 Alumnus, to ask him about the programme and his experiences.

Can you tell us a little about your day job?

“I’ve been very fortunate to have now worked for three of the current G15 members in a wide range of roles, and in the social housing sector for coming up to 25 years. Currently I am the Head of Asset Management at Notting Hill Genesis, which means responsibility for the delivery of our planned works programme and the Building Projects team, which also includes Disrepair.

Why did you apply to take part in G15 Accelerate?

“My career has been and is still very much driven by influencing positive changes, and this I felt was an unbelievable opportunity to help further that ambition.

“In line with the pledge made by the G15, doors clearly need to be opened, and the personal aspiration is to be at the forefront of that change, and critically not just for myself, but for others who perhaps have not had and/or do not get the opportunities. This course I feel really is much bigger than just one individual and is a brilliant platform to build up participants’ profiles to get through the door to then also be able to open it for others.

“Put another way, I did it to become part of the change and bring people on the journey, and highly recommend others too. Don’t wait for change, become it.”

What is your highlight from the programme?

“That’s an easy one. Meeting amazing like-minded folk, and people I wouldn't have met otherwise. The way that, even over Teams, we became a virtual family, was amazing. When we then finally met some people in person at the programme at the recent G15 Awards evening, it really was very special.

“Listening to the various amazing Chief Executives in the course was equally brilliant. Hearing from them about their journeys was at times simply inspiring.”

What did you find most challenging?

“As with being the pioneers on any project; there are usually that many more challenges. At times resilience was not only being taught but very much simultaneously being had to put into practice!

“Time commitment is of course the biggest challenge, but that said, whatever truly worth attaining has ever been easy. This really is a cause and not a course, and it is with pride that I can say that we as a group always found a way to rise and overcome any challenges.”

Do you have any words of advice for people considering applying for the second edition of the programme?

“Don't think about why you should do it, think about why you shouldn't! This is a real opportunity to play your part and help shape the sector. My advice would be to jump on, make it happen, for you and equally others. It's a brilliant initiative, just grab it.”