One of our major priorities of 2022/23 was the development of our brand-new three-year Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy following a major consultation exercise with customers, colleagues and Board and Committee members.
Now approved by the Board, it sets out five high level priorities:
Customer services: how we will improve access to our services across our diverse customer base and provide further opportunities for engagement to a wider range of customers. For example, we will recruit a wider, more diverse range of customers to help us scrutinise the accessibility of our services and provide us with feedback.
Homes and places: how we will better plan our new homes to reflect the needs of local communities and ensure that our existing homes can be flexibly adapted to meet the changing needs of customers as they age and encounter issues with health and disability. For example, our Development and Growth colleagues will collaborate with regional colleagues to target new developments to meet local needs and ensure we have a consistent approach to our aids and adaptations service.
Governance: how we will ensure the composition of our governance community and leadership team better reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, and how decision making can be better informed to improve equalities outcomes. For example, we will use our current diversity data to review and improve our advertisement and recruitment processes to attract more diverse candidates for Board and Committee vacancies.
Support for colleagues: how we will ensure that all colleagues have the tools and knowledge they require to deliver services which are tailored to diverse needs. For example, we will provide learning solutions for colleagues to enable them to deliver customer focused services, tailoring delivery to suit the diverse needs of customers.
The collection and use of data: how we will ensure we develop a better understanding of the characteristics and experiences of our customers, communities, and colleagues by collecting, analysing, and reporting data, using it to improve our services. For example, we will close the gaps in our knowledge about the protected characteristics of our customers and colleagues.
As a landlord, a service provider and an employer, we want to drive change and achieve greater equity for those people who face greater disadvantage and barriers. We wish to create a diverse and inclusive culture where all people can achieve their true potential, offering opportunities for inclusion.
Later this year, we will be partnering with our customers to look at the high-level service delivery model in line with our guiding customer service principles as we work towards integration. Customers will be heavily involved in this process and will help us to understand how they want us to deliver excellent and accessible local services and customer engagement in the future.
Targets for 2026
We will actively monitor the strategy and measure our performance against the following targets for 2026.
- Increasing the proportion of customers who are satisfied that ‘my landlord treats tenants fairly and with respect’ from 67% to 75%.
- Ensuring the profile of involved customers reflects the overall customer profile – relevant to the locality.
- Ensuring there are no significant differences between satisfaction levels in the quality of our new homes across protected characteristics, where sample sizes allow.
- Ensuring there is a measurable increase in number of Board and Committee applicants with protected characteristics.
- Increase in the diversity score in our Board members’ self-assessment.
- Ensuring the proportion of colleagues who identify as ethnically diverse paid in the upper quartile of our pay distribution remains above 25%.