G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge 2022 Report - Chair's Blog

It gives me real pride to share this latest update report on how G15 members are implementing and delivering the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge.

I began my career over 30 years ago as a trainee in a council housing department. Now, as the first minority ethnic person to Chair the G15 – the group of some of the country’s largest housing associations – the importance of ensuring we reflect the communities we serve in our leadership is something I’m passionate about.

I’ve seen first-hand how our organisations make better decisions when our leadership reflects the communities we serve. It meant we were better able to respond when the pandemic hit, especially when the more severe impact of the virus on minority ethnic communities became clear.

This is why, two years ago, G15 Chief Executives signed a pledge to work hard to ensure that our organisations – particularly at senior managerial, leadership and board levels – reflect the communities in which we work, focusing on ethnic diversity.

We committed to be more visibly diverse at all levels of our organisations. We pledged we would collaborate to invest and support our minority ethnic talent. Crucially, we resolved to celebrate our minority ethnic colleagues’ achievements to shine a light on the contribution so many people make to our communities and our work.

Today, as we share the latest update report on how G15 members are implementing and delivering the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge, it gives me real pride to reflect on the progress made, but also the journey we still need to go on.

When I signed this pledge on behalf of MTVH, I spoke about the responsibility G15 members had to lead the way in promoting and delivering inclusion. By doing so, not only do we support our own minority ethnic colleagues to prosper, but we are also in a better position to serve the communities where we work.

Since then, we have seen representation of minority ethnic people on members’ Boards increase by 89%, with 1 in 4 Board members now being minority ethnic people.

We held the first G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards this week to celebrate the achievements of minority ethnic colleagues.

Colleagues are also completing the first edition of our Accelerate leadership development programme that was a direct outcome of the pledge being signed.

This is all welcome progress, and we celebrate the enormous amount of work and the many initiatives that colleagues across our membership are delivering.

However, we are acutely aware that there is much more to be done.

As Inside Housing found, just over 60% of the country’s largest housing associations have all-white executive teams. For G15 members, whilst ethnic diversity has increased at manager and Board level, we can see that at the most senior level there is more work to do to better reflect the communities we serve.

Our organisations have a unique role in society. We are long-term partners to the places where we work, custodians of people’s homes, and provide vital support. As organisations with social purpose woven into our DNA, we see first-hand how inequality continues to scar our society and holds too many people back.

We have a clear role in calling out these challenges in society, but we must also remain committed to achieving change within our own organisations too. We must, as it were, get our own houses in order too.

The G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge update report gives an insight into just some of the work that G15 members are delivering to boost representation of minority ethnic people at all levels of our organisations, and I hope it helps others to reflect on what more they can do in their organisations.

I want to thank those colleagues who are pushing to us do more and to go further.

It is that commitment to achieving change that will drive us forward as we look to build on the progress that has been made so far.

Geeta Nanda OBE

G15 Chair & Chief Executive of MTVH

Read the G15 Ethnic Diversity Pledge 2022 report here