This is our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion at the NHF

Kate Henderson, 18 June 2020

I’m proud to share with you our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy: Who We Are.

We have been reflecting on our practices and policies, and what we need to do as an employer to create a diverse workforce where everyone feels valued and included. Who We Are sets out for the first time how we will make this change.

I want to see change within the sector and within society, and as a trade body I believe the NHF can be a driving force for change. This is why we’ve decided to publicly release our internal strategy so that you can see that we are working on our own actions as an employer.

Alongside our work as an employer we know how important it is for the NHF to drive improvement in equality, diversity and inclusion across the housing association sector, and we are working with a group of members to deliver this.

We started working on our internal strategy last year with the idea of launching in March, as part of our commitment to transparency and trust. But with the outbreak of coronavirus we had to postpone its release to focus on our staff and housing association members.

However recent events have shown us that we can’t stay silent on this for a moment longer. The horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked a conversation about structural racism and inequality in our society. Now more than ever we have a duty to demonstrate our commitment to fighting racism, championing diversity and achieving greater equality.

The strategy has been co-created with our staff-led internal diversity and inclusion group. I’ve been so inspired by our staff’s passion and commitment to driving change, their ideas and constructive challenge have been essential to the development this strategy. It is the result of many months of collaboration at the NHF. But these actions are just the beginning, this marks the start of ongoing conversations at the NHF to make sure we don’t take the brakes off in driving this much needed change.

Our vision

Our overall ambition is for the NHF to become a more diverse organisation, and to be seen as diverse and inclusive by our members and by our staff. Specifically, by 2025 our aims are that:

  1. The NHF is an inclusive workplace where everyone feels they belong.
  2. We attract and grow diverse talent at all levels, including the board.
  3. We have built trust with our staff and those interested in joining the NHF workforce, through transparency.

As things stand, our workforce and our leadership are not as diverse as they should be or could be, and this isn’t good enough. I love working at the NHF, and within the social housing sector, but it’s clear that we don’t reflect society, and we aren’t as equal or inclusive as we should be.

We don’t want this to be another talking shop. We commit to doing more as an employer. Our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy shows who we are and where we are going and I look forward to working with my colleagues, and the wider social housing sector, and being held to account on this journey.