Sahil Khan, director of community investment, Catalyst Housing

Chairs welcome

10:00

Sahil Khan

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Director of community investment, Catalyst

Sahil is Director of Community Investment at Catalyst and has worked in social housing for 13 years. Sahil is a trustee of Local Trust, a charity overseeing an innovative place based programme distribution £1million each to 150 neighbourhoods across England. Sahil is also a Chartered Institute of Housing London Board member. Sahil has a long-standing interest in youth and community work, equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as social innovation.

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Opening session with Gavin Smart to kick off the event.

Opening session

10:10

Gavin Smart

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Chief executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

Gavin Smart CIHCM is chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing. Prior to joining CIH, Gavin was assistant director of research and futures at the National Housing Federation from 2004 to 2012. Born in Cardiff, Gavin studied public administration at the Polytechnic of Wales and then gained an MSc in sociology at the University of Bristol, where he worked as a research associate on projects for the Department of the Environment, Housing Corporation, Scottish Office and local authorities.

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You'll hear from Karl George who has developed the Race Equality Code 2020 that he's working on with housing associations and other organisations to adopt. This Code, and its Accountability Framework, is designed to provide organisations across all sectors and sizes, with the opportunity to address a very specific challenge, race equality.

Karl will also share his first-hand experience of the challenges and intimate stories with both himself and his family around race equality.

Keynote speaker

10:15

Dr Karl George

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Managing director, Governance Forum Limited

Karl George is a thought leader, author and internationally established consultant in governance. He is Managing Director of the governance forum (tgf), creator of The Governance Framework and the Effective Board Member Programmes. He works with boards and senior executives in the private, public and voluntary sectors and has over twenty five years’ combined experience in accountancy, business and strategic development.

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In this session, Positive About Inclusion and Curo will share the learning from their recent collaboration on embedding a people focused approach to assessing services provided.

Putting people at the heart of what we do

10:25

Lucy Malarkey

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Director and co-founder, Positive About Inclusion

Lucy is one of the Directors and co-founders of Positive About Inclusion. She is a multi-award winning equality, diversity and inclusion consultant and trainer. She specialises in the value of allyship and has been recognised for her contribution in this area. She is dedicated to collaborating with clients to create innovative solutions to improve workplace inclusivity.

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Jane Jones

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Director of people, Curo

With a people career starting at British Aerospace, Jane has worked in Human Resources and People Development for over 40 years. Jane has worked in several sectors including manufacturing, Further Education and contract catering and enjoyed several years working for the National Trust before moving to the Housing Sector. Since October 2005 Jane has been working for Curo (formerly Somer Housing Group) and has been the Director of People since October 2017.

Gemma is currently the only senior female manager in IT in her organisation and as a woman in IT from an early age, she has experienced gender bias. Gemma will talk about the challenges she faced in this male dominated role.

As co-chair of One Housing women in social housing network, Gemma has a bold roadmap with her co chair to make positive change for women, women of BAME and women of LGBTQ+. This includes events and training, safe spaces, mentoring schemes and working with One Housing's customers and residents to support them especially in the aftermath of covid, where many women are being impacted by restructures, redundancies and school closures putting parents at potential disadvantages in the workplace.

Striving to support women in the workplace and community

10:35

Gemma Oxenham

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Head of IT PMO, One Housing and co chair of OH WISH Network – Championing Gender Equality

Gemma started in the industry studying computing at A levels then going onto a business computing degree at city university. After a placement year and gaining a 1st class degree Gemma started her career in IT industry within projects and programmes at GSK. Over the last 9 years Gemma has held many PMO roles. Her current day job is head of IT PMO at One Housing. PMO stands for Portfolio Management Office. Essentially her role is to govern the Change and Transformation portfolio, from inception to delivery of benefits and value to the customer. Gemma wants to bring her passion and shine a light for other women to have equal opportunities and also ensure all groups have access to equality in their day to day. Gemma feels their equality and diversity agenda should run through everything we do including her day job and she looks forward to leveraging the network at One Housing and her skills from her day job to bring measurable value and benefit to One Housing and the sector as a whole.

Alison Leech

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Head of policy & performance, Incommunities Group

Alison is a CIH chartered member and has been a Housing Professional for nearly 30 years. She is Head of Policy and Performance at Incommunities Group based in Bradford based in Bradford. She is also a n associate lecturer in Housing at Leeds Beckett University; and In a Voluntary capacity Vice Chair of Connect Housing, and a Trustee at St Anne’s Community services a housing, care and support provider based in Leeds She is a qualified trainer, coach and mentor, holds an MA in Policy Studies and is committed to housing education and professionalism, and truly affordable, social housing. Alison is partially deaf and relies on hearing aids and lip reading to communicate.

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Taranjit will focus on her experience in her current role, and how she feels she's developed to be more comfortable in challenging both direct and indirect discrimination. Learn how events over the past few years, along with social media, have enabled her to challenge the status quo with a desire to make real change in the industry.

Overcoming gender discrimination in a gender dominated sector

10:55

Taranjit Sandhar

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Construction project manager, Network Homes

Taranjit is a British Indian female who is also an experienced Construction Project Manager. Taranjit currently work for a large G15 housing association, project managing the delivery of much needed affordable housing throughout Greater London & Hertfordshire. Driven by a desire to address housing inequalities, the delivery of affordable homes is of paramount significance to her. As a daughter of Indian immigrants, Taranjit is immensely proud of her roots. Taranjit’s parents couldn’t speak English when they first emigrated, but now she is helping to build affordable, good quality homes in the capital city of the UK.

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Cordelia Johnney

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EDI Lead, Stonewater

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In just a few decades, the landscape for LGBTQ+ people in the UK has shifted from being openly hostile to tolerant and progressive. Yet behind this shift sits hundreds of thousands of personal experiences which show how far we still have to go.

In this session, Steve will talk about his own experience of growing up as a young gay man and what he thinks the experience of people who grow up believing being different is wrong tells us about how we should approach equality, diversity and inclusion.

A young boy’s wish: why we need to teach our children that being different is OK

11:25

photo of Steve Hayes, head of communication, Citizen

Steve Hayes

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Head of communications, Citizen

Steve Hayes is Head of Communications at Citizen. Steve moved into communications following a stint as a local newspaper journalist. After that, he worked for a heart charity, where he led Hearts & Goals - a successful campaign with the footballer Fabrice Muamba and Bolton Wanderers Football Club to place life-saving defibrillators in communities.

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Miles Lanham

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Assistant director housing management, Octavia

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Olushola is currently Chair of Hyde’s ethnic minority staff network, which was born from the coaching and inspiration from their women’s staff network, Aspire. Hear about her personal experiences that led her to find her voice, and how herself and Hyde Housing have been enriched with greater emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and cultural competence as a result of the staff network.

The benefits of staff networks in empowering and engaging diverse ethnic groups in the workplace

11:45

Olushola Alao

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Property team manager, The Hyde Group

Olushola Alao has worked in the social housing sector for close to 20 years. She has experience of working both in local authority and register providers. She holds a Masters of Science Degree in Housing Studies and is currently taking part in the G15 Leadership programme. She is also the first Chair of the staff network for ethnic minority staff members in her organisation.

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Karen Faulkner

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Director and co-founders, Positive About Inclusion

Karen is a qualified coach and mentor with a specialism in gender equality. She is dedicated to enhancing service delivery and creating more inclusive workplaces through helping individuals to bring their whole self to work and fulfil their potential.

Gemma will share her story and create awareness about neurodiversity. Gemma’s aim is to inspire others and help make changes within the sector. Gemma has dyslexia and dyspraxia which affects her everyday life, learn about her journey which has led her to creating the diversity and inclusion group at Hyde Housing.

Raising awareness for disability in the workplace - believe you can achieve

12:15

Gemma Waddington

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Resident services administrator, Hyde Housing

Gemma works as a Resident Service adminstrator at Hyde Housing . Gemma is very passionate about diversity and inclusion and founded Don’t Dis My ability which is a workplace group designed to raise awareness and making changes to support colleagues/ residents . Gemma has dyslexia and dyspraxia which affects her everyday life and my workplace, which she will share her experiences about at the event.

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Harrinder Rai

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Regional manager, Pinnacle Group

Harrinder is currently Regional Manager for Pinnacle Group delivering comprehensive housing services on behalf of social landlords in the Midlands and North West. Previously Harrinder spent over 20 years working in local authorities across the midlands. Harrinder started his housing career as a housing officer at Birmingham City Council and more recently has held Head of Service, Assistant Director and Director roles in councils in the East Midlands. Harrinder has a 1st class hons degree in professional housing and a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration. Over the years he has supported many housing colleagues in obtaining CIH accreditation and has been a CIH member for just under 20 years.

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Zein will share how he took an interest in social housing at a young age after moving to the UK. You will hear how living in social housing gave him an understanding of the pressures in the housing sector and the knock-on effect with challenges he faced in his own experiences of living and now working in the housing sector.

“Council Estate Diamonds don’t settle”- chase for the role that makes a difference

12:35

Zein Owfar

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Homeless prevention officer, Hertsmere Borough Council

Zein joined the housing sector in 2014 after leaving university. In his journey, he worked in housing operations for a housing association before moving to work in homelessness prevention and assessments. Zein completed his CIH Level in Housing Management in 2016; he will be starting his level 5 this year and has hopes to go into management.

Gordon Perry

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CIH governing board member and CIH Fellow member

Gordon, is a member of the CIH Governing Board. He retired as Chief executive of Accent Group, in 2017. He has worked across the North of England and in London at executive level so amassed significant experience of Local Authority, ALMO, and Housing Association sectors. He was previously a member of the RSH Provider Panel, HCA,TSA and Audit Commission regulatory predecessors. Gordon is also a Board member of Trafford Housing Trust, and of L&Q’s Audit and Risk Board.

Chairs closing remarks

12:55

Sahil Khan

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Director of community investment, Catalyst

Sahil is Director of Community Investment at Catalyst and has worked in social housing for 13 years. Sahil is a trustee of Local Trust, a charity overseeing an innovative place based programme distribution £1million each to 150 neighbourhoods across England. Sahil is also a Chartered Institute of Housing London Board member. Sahil has a long-standing interest in youth and community work, equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as social innovation.

View the website

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