George Floyd’s tragic killing in June has sparked a worldwide conversation around the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Here at Notting Hill Genesis (NHG), we’ve recognised that it’s crucial to have those conversations, but we’re also committed to genuine and long-lasting change. Although we consider ourselves an anti-racist organisation and the majority of colleagues are non-white, we understand that we have far more to do. In particular, we need to take action to ensure greater diversity at the top of our organisation.
We’ve agreed several commitments to help us achieve long-term and sustainable change to create a better organisation, both for those who work for us and for our residents. So far, our activities have been largely focused on colleagues, but we also need to better understand how our services impact on different groups of residents and give you the opportunity to input into our initiatives in this area. We will be working with our resident involvement network to discuss this over the coming months.
A commitment to change
We’ve already started a series of structured conversations among teams and in cross-departmental groups to talk about ethnicity and race across our organisation. These discussions aim to help us learn from, educate and challenge one another about the discrimination faced by many colleagues so that we can all take steps to change that. We’re calling this Our Big Conversation, and it will culminate in an online Stop the Clock conference for colleagues in late October. The conference will take account of all the insights gathered through Our Big Conversation and focus the entire organisation on ethnic diversity, including Black Lives Matter.
We’ll also be taking a refreshed, enhanced approach to training and will work on career development and succession planning so that everyone has the opportunity to progress, regardless of the colour of their skin.
Other initiatives include a review of processes and policy, especially around recruitment, and a drive to increase diversity at a leadership and governance level. Our recent call for residents to apply for roles on our various committees will help with that – thank you to the large number of you who expressed an interest.
Our staff network
It has been a very busy few months for Cultural Energie, our Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff network. They have been working hard to maintain momentum and meet the needs of our colleagues, with a focus on mentoring, networking, careers and culture.
The G15 pledge
We are part of the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations. We recently signed a pledge to ensure our organisation reflects the communities we work in when it comes to ethnic diversity, especially at senior management, leadership, and board level. The pledge also looks at how we can invest and support our internal BAME talent and recognise their achievements.