Where are they now? G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards 2022 - The Winners

Ahead of the 2023 G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards, taking place on 25 May, we look back on the inaugural awards held in 2022 and catch-up with some of the winners.

Marie Victoire took home the Future Leader Award at the 2022 awards. When we caught up with Marie recently and asked how winning made her feel, she explained: "Other than having my amazing children, I've never been more proud! I can't put in to words how grateful I was, and still am, that the work that I didn't think was much was truly recognised. It was honestly such an honour."

Since winning the award, Marie has been promoted twice at The Hyde Group, and is now the Building Safety Project Manager. She has also become the Treasurer of UNIFY - which helps to organise the G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards. Marie added: "Both teams are so supportive and both my colleagues in the Building Safety Team and Unify are like my family. I am really lucky!"

What message would Marie have for those colleagues shortlisted for this year's awards? She says: "To everyone that has been shortlisted, keep doing what you're doing. You are truly inspirational in your everyday lives, as you are at work. You wouldn't have been nominated if you weren't. I could not be happier for you and I'm so happy you have received the recognition."

'Rise', MTVH's colleague network group, won the Racial Equality Action Group Award a year ago. We caught up with Violet Pugh and Anthony Were from Rise to get their perspective on what winning meant to them and their colleagues.

"Winning the award was a powerful affirmation of Rise’s impact in championing inclusion and belonging in the workplace and community," explains Violet. "It served as a reminder of the vital role staff networks groups play in driving meaningful change."

"This honour fuelled our determination to continue to do our part to support MTVH with progressing a range of key diversity and inclusion initiatives and ensuring the strengthening of the colleague voice," she added.

Anthony, who is also the Chair of UNIFY who jointly organises the G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards, reflected on what winning the award has changed for him and colleagues.

"I’ve formally taken on the role of Chair of UNIFY. I’m very excited to lead this next chapter in our history and continue working to promote social justice and increasing opportunities for better representation and diverse leadership. We’ve also been busy since the awards engaging with colleagues and organisations to understand how best UNIFY can make a difference. We’ve recruited more volunteers to our Committee, renamed as UNIFY Network, and formalised our membership across the G15. We see this creating greater accountability and collective action for positive change across the sector. We continue to promote our flagship programme LeadershipNOW!, the value of staff networks and the pivotal role we can all play in improving the representation of the communities we serve."

As Chair of Rise, Violet has taken on new positions with UNIFY and is also coordinating MTVH's programme of activity to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Windrush generation to the UK.

Violet explains: "I’m honoured to continue chairing Rise, while also expanding my horizons. It fills me with excitement to be part of UNIFY, where I lead the Marketing and Communications efforts to amplify the mission of advocating for inclusive practices, raising our network’s presence, driving engagement, and promoting our member initiatives. Additionally, I’m currently spearheading MTVH’s programme of the Windrush 75th Anniversary, a pivotal moment in our history. This perfectly reinforces the significance of celebrating the achievements of ethnically diverse colleagues in housing through the G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards."

So, what would be Violet and Anthony's message to those colleagues shortlisted for an award this year?

Anthony: "The opportunity to be recognised for your achievements is a unique position. I’d encourage all those shortlisted to use this moment to forge stronger connections within their organisation and housing sector. Those shortlisted now have a platform to create more opportunities for talent in the sector to be showcased. The history of our sector is collaborating, and last year’s winners and nominees are a great example of people taking control of their personal development and career. I can’t wait to see the next steps for this year’s nominees!"

Violet: "The sector brims with immense talent. This recognition not only provides a platform to showcase that talent, but also paves the way for creating additional opportunities. Seize the moment and contemplate how you can leverage it to complement your personal development journey and career path. Embrace the moment, savour it – you truly deserve it!"

The 2023 G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards take place on 25 May. Details of the nominees can be found here.