G15 progress updates on diversity commitments

  • 30 September 2020

With the launch of the G15 Accelerate programme today, we thought it would be a good opportunity to report on the progress we’ve made against the ten point plan of action to improve the ethnic diversity of our leadership that we made in March 2020.

We established a task-and-finish-group comprising Kate Davies (Chief Executive, Notting Hill Genesis), Geeta Nanda (Chief Executive, Metropolitan Thames Valley), Vipul Thacker (Group Director of Central Services, Notting Hill Genesis), Ria Bailes (Group Director of People and Change, One Housing) and Jamie Ratcliff (Executive Director of Business Performance and Partnerships, Network Homes) to coordinate the actions.

We’ve made substantial progress against these actions, with eight completed, one ongoing and one currently on hold. A detailed update against each of the actions is set out below.

  1. Agree and set a target for BAME board members across G15 by 2025, using the baseline data as a starting point.Completed - A target for doubling the BAME proportion on our boards across G15 to 30% by 2025 was formally agreed by all G15 CEOs on 6 March 2020.
  2. Chief Executive commitment to increasing diversity signed and published.Completed – This was signed after the CEOs meeting on 6 March 2020 (the last time we were all physically present together) and social media activity to promote it followed. You can read the pledge here
  3. Research strategies and initiatives adopted across the G15 in promoting diversity (developing pipeline activities) and share best practice. – Completed – This has been collated into a single document which is being designed up ready for publication.
  4. Launch new G15 BAME leadership programmeCompleted – ‘G15 Accelerate’, a new high calibre Chartered Management Institute (CMI) leadership development programme for BAME colleagues who are managers and want to accelerate their career trajectory, was launched on 15 July 2020. The aim is to run cohorts of around 40 people, twice a year, but the initial round of applications was significantly oversubscribed with around 150 applicants and therefore we are exploring how we can create more capacity. This has been designed to be embedded within organisations and affect culture change through involvement of CEOs in ‘masterclasses’ and senior Directors as mentors as well as equipping talented BAME managers with skills, confidence and networks to support their career progression. More information can be found here.
  5. Identify and promote BAME speakers at regional and national conferencesCompleted - G15 CEOs have nominated around 70 BAME experts across a wide range of topics who can speak on their areas of expertise. A training and support programme has been designed and launched, in partnership with Future of London. The first cohort has completed this programme and 45 colleagues have registered for the next tranche of training. Each one will be accredited as a speaker and will be on a list of speakers available to conference organisers such as Ocean Media, Future of London, Inside Housing, CIH and NHF. Already CIH has started inviting colleagues on this list to lead on their webinars and round tables.
  6. Produce a G15 talent page on the G15 website to clearly promote opportunities across our organisationsCompleted – A G15 careers page, bringing together all roles across the G15, has been launched along with a G15 LinkedIn account.
  7. Ongoing programme of networking opportunities for BAME talent such as breakfast meetings etc. – Ongoing – This is being cued up to operate alongside the start of the G15 Accelerate programme and will be curated by BAME colleagues, including linking into the Unify network. An initial virtual meeting was held on 22 July where around 50 G15 colleagues listened to an inspirational talk by Olu Olanrewaju (Altair) and discussed the role that they could play in helping to effect change across the sector.
  8. Research good practice in diverse recruitment from across the G15Completed - As this work was underway it became startlingly clear that there was no such thing as ‘diverse recruitment’ and the examples of activities received from G15 members and other organisations involved in recruitment were simply about good recruitment in reaching the widest pool of candidates possible, engaging them, clearly setting out role requirements, testing them effectively and ultimately selecting the best possible candidate. The guide has therefore been recast to cover this and also good practice in on-boarding and retaining new talent. The document is currently being designed up ready for publication.
  9. Collect baseline data on ethnic diversity across G15 members for publicationCompleted – A common template was agreed and the initial round of data collection completed covering the ethnic profile of G15 workforce, managers, executives and board. This will be collected on an annual basis to track progress and change and published on a collective basis.
  10. Hold a celebration event of BAME talent On hold – This event, incorporating awards, diverse food, music, dance, comedy and inspiring speakers was due to be held at the Museum of London Docklands in July 2020. Unfortunately it was postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. To have an impact this event will need to happen in person. Provisionally a date in Spring 2021 is being considered for planning purposes.
  11. To support these actions we’ve also put in place a programme of engagement with recruitment agencies that work on behalf of the sector, being clear that the G15 will be demanding clients in terms of their plans to cultivate and promote diverse talent. Two round-table discussions have been held with a range of recruitment agencies the first involving diverse talent from across the G15, chaired by Anthony Were (Metropolitan Thames Valley), and the second focusing on board-level recruitment involving board members from across the G15.

In addition to the ten-point plan the G15 have agreed to fund the ongoing costs of Leadership 2025 for at least 2020/21 and 2021/22 and have involvement in the governance structure as a result. There continues to be ongoing positive discussions between G15 and Leadership 2025 with a desire to ensure complementarity of actions and to promote mutual learning.

G15 Accelerate