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Ensuring we do all we can to create diverse and inclusive communities

21 September 2020

Network Homes is dedicated to making sure that our workplace and the communities we serve are places of equality, diversity and inclusion. In June, our Chief Executive, Helen Evans, gave an insight into how equality and diversity has changed over the years and despite the fact that we’ve always encouraged it, we acknowledge there is still so much more we can do.

We’ve made a commitment to address the issue of inequality through the implementation of practical, time-limited actions and targets in our 10 Point Plan. You can read a summary of it in Helen’s blog: ‘Time for tangible action to ensure diversity and tackle inequalities.’

We’ve also made strides to improve our organisation both for people who work at Network Homes and people we provide our services to. Here are some of the things we’ve done recently:

  • Open discussions with people at Network Homes - We held a virtual staff discussion event called Network Thinks in June focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement. It gave everyone the opportunity to speak openly about their concerns and ideas for improvement around racial equality at work. Following on from that session, we’ve set up a staff-led group specifically aimed at looking at racial equality. They met for the first time this month and will meet regularly to discuss how Network Homes can continue to promote racial equality and diversity.
  • Encouraged managers to apply for the G15 Accelerate programme - The G15, London’s largest housing associations, has recently launched its Accelerate Programme. It aims to build a pipeline of talented BAME people and gives them the opportunity to develop their personal leadership skills, confront barriers to progression and learn a range of skills that support their career trajectory. We had 10 managers apply and three of them successfully made it onto the programme.
  • Open discussion with residents – On 20 August, we held a virtual resident event called ‘Embracing Inclusive Communities’, where residents discussed with us their ideas around what Network Homes can do to support residents facing discrimination, concerns about EDI and what actions Network Homes can take to meet The Houseproud Pledge. You can watch the recording to hear some of the key ideas from residents: 
    Watch: Embracing inclusive communities.
  • Becoming a Disability Confident Employer - In August we became a Disability Confident Employer. The Disability Confident Employer Scheme is a Government initiative which supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace. Joining the scheme allows Network to access a huge pool of talented people with disabilities and allows us to recruit and retain skilled workers.

Increasing equality, diversity, and inclusion is vital in satisfying our strategic objectives. Our objective to build a great organisation means that we continue to strive to be an inclusive place where talent is developed. Our commitments extend to the communities we serve too. Being sympathetic to the equality and inclusion issues faced by our residents will also allow us to provide better customer service, and making our organisation reflect the diversity of our residents will help to strengthen trust and transparency.