Corporate news

Tackling the Chairs’ Challenge for equality, diversity and inclusion


Our Chair of the Board, Nicola Sawford, has signed up to the National Housing Federation (NHF) Chairs’ Challenge. This is a crucial public commitment for embedding and driving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).   

The Chairs’ Challenge has been created to help chairs of housing organisations understand their role in setting the right culture and behaviours for equality and diversity to thrive. The commitment includes driving the use of data to analyse the make-up of a workforce, its executives and board, and to measure future success. It also includes being responsible for creating a board’s vision to become more equal, diverse and inclusive, prioritising diversity in succession planning and being accountable through annual appraisals of progress. 

Before signing up to the Chairs’ Challenge, Nicola was part of a working group which looked at EDI commitments for housing boards. As an organisation we’re already working towards or successfully following the commitments but recognise there’s always more we can do. We’ve been encouraging employees to share their diversity information through our ‘Be counted’ campaign. With this information we can support employees better and give everybody an equal experience. Succession planning for the Board is already part of our agenda and we worked with a specialist recruitment agency for our recent round of board recruitment. We’re also updating our board appraisal process to include EDI. 

Speaking recently to the NHF, Nicola said: “We want to be more representative of the customers and communities we serve to support our understanding of their experiences. We have actively sought to increase the diversity of our board in a variety of ways, to ensure we have a range of perspectives in our discussions and can learn from the different backgrounds and experiences our Board members have.  

“We recognise and embrace the benefits of having a range of perspectives in decision-making. This of course includes the Board but is also essential for us at all levels of the organisation. Increased diversity across the organisation means we can be more creative and innovative, and it also means we can make better decisions.”  

We would like to place cookies on your computer to make your experience of our website faster and more convenient. To find out more, please refer to our cookie policy.

Please choose a setting: