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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Leading the way for equality and diversity


Our Presidential Commission has one main goal: to encourage as many people as possible to deliver 10 challenges by 2020. We explain what these challenges mean and why improving the diversity of our industry's leaders is so important.

Image of paper people of different colours holding handsA fairer sector

If you work in housing, chances are you'll have heard Poplar HARCA chief executive Steve Stride's widely-referenced quote: "While our workforce is diverse, this is not reflected in our leadership which remains too white, too old and too male. Just look at me." Our former President Steve created the Presidential Commission on equality and diversity back in 2014 to make sure the next generation of housing leaders isn't solely made up of these white, middle-aged men.

37 per cent of our sector's workforce is aged 50 or older - compared with 29 per cent of all people in employment - so as Judy Waugh stressed in her November blog, it's really important to make sure that younger people are represented in housing and that we're prepared for what comes after our current leadership team retires. But it's not just that - to be as brilliant a sector as possible, we need to make sure that we're all here. We need a system whereby everyone has the potential to one day become a leader regardless of age, gender, disability, religion, race or sexual orientation - and our tenants need to know and feel that they are represented through this sector.

The challenge for you

Fancy a challenge? We've got 10 for you. We want your organisation to commit to our '10 by 20' project, which focuses on making equal opportunities training mandatory for staff members and how to improve the diversity of your workforce, board and leadership team. So far we've had just over 30 organisations sign up to the challenges, which is fantastic - but we want more. We need housing groups all over the UK to put their names to this too so we can make a change as one sector, not just as smaller teams.

Think your organisation's got what it takes?

If you're with us, we want you to sign up to the challenge today. Take a look at the team you'll be joining - from Accord Housing Group to Wulvern Housing - and commit to four years of working to improve things for housing professionals and tenants, now and in the future.

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