Rising Stars 2018 - the final ten: Monique Green
As they fight for your votes, each of our Rising Stars finalists has been asked to blog about housing and how they would use winning the competition to the benefit of the sector. Here Monique Green puts her case forward.
I am a real fan of inspirational quotes so I will start with one of my all-time favourite by Nelson Mandela who said “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” for me this is what rising stars is all about, winning wouldn’t just be for me, it would be an opportunity to give something back.
So, after getting over the initial shock and allowing that to turn into excitement there are quite a few things I’d like to do in my year as CIH Rising Star a majority of which would be centred around a cause that is close to my heart: diversity and inclusion and how important this is in moving the housing sector forward.
Over the last year I have taken a number of steps to do my bit to make the sector more diverse; joining a Board, volunteering to mentor with HDN, being an ambassador for an annual housing event specifically for future leaders and writing for Inside Housing’s Inclusive futures feature - I’ve also completed my Housing Diploma and gained Chartered status with the CIH; it’s been a busy year!
Winning Rising Stars will give me a platform to build on all I have achieved this year. I want to continue to do my bit to champion and celebrate diversity in all its forms (age, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion/ belief and sexuality), to really sell the benefits diversity brings to the sector and help to remove some of the fear that leaders often feel when thinking about and trying to address diversity issues.
I have recently learned just how important storytelling is in getting a message across and inspiring change so I would like to keep telling mine in the hope that it will inspire others to do the same. Whether that story is getting over imposer syndrome or learning that it is OK to bring my whole self into the workplace without feeling that I need to leave parts of who I am at the door. It’s these stories that will help remove the fear and replace it with understanding, they will break down barriers and make the sector a more inclusive place; I really want to be a part of making that happen.
As I am a firm believer in personal and professional development I would also be keen to use this platform to work with leaders and training providers to develop a structured training program that aims to address the internal and external barriers many face when trying to progress their career. I would be looking to tailor this program to work with front-line staff and junior managers, it is clear that this is often where the glass ceiling lies for those with diverse backgrounds as they are often over-represented in the more junior roles within an organisation. We already have some great programs aimed at senior managers but it would be great to expand on this so that when senior managers step up, junior managers and front-line staff are equipped and ready to take their place.
In support of this I would really like to encourage sector leaders to commit to setting meaningful diversity targets, how great would it be if the sector was able to do this willingly rather than rely on external pressures such as the old diversity KLOE? we would be setting a standard in which other sectors could follow, once again proving our commitment to creating a society in which everyone has fair access to opportunity.
In terms of my own personal development, I would make good use of the mentoring that would be on offer. Having been a mentor and a mentee I know just how powerful this relationship can be - I’d be looking to make the most of their experience to fine tune my career path.
Above all else, I would be 100% committed to making the most of all the opportunities that came my way in my year as rising star so I’ll probably need a time turner to fit it all in!
Monique Green is housing services manager at Yarrow Housing and a 2018 Rising Stars finalist
- Find out more about Ian and how you can cast your vote here