Thursday, 19 January 2017

BME executives under-represented

Only 19 out of more than 500 executives in the UK’s largest housing associations are black or minority ethnic (BME).

A wide-ranging survey of diversity in leadership roles by Inside Housing has revealed that BME people make up only 4% of executives in 100 of the largest housing associations in the UK by stock owned, and 7% of board members. This compares to 14% of the population of England and Wales overall which is BME.

Four in 10 housing associations have boards that are all white.

Women are better represented, making up 37% of executive-level roles, and 36% of board members. This means housing associations are outperforming the FTSE 100, where only 26.1% of board members are women. But very few of housing’s leaders are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) - less than 2% of respondents. A similar percentage of executives and board members are disabled.

CIH chief executive, Terrie Alafat, said: “These results show we still have a long way to go to improve the diversity of leadership in housing.”

Clifton Robinson, chief executive of the Housing Diversity Network, agreed: “LGBT, BME and disability representation across the sector’s leadership remains worryingly poor.”

He added: “Sadly, far too many in the sector are only able to focus now on the various short-term challenges facing the sector and seem totally oblivious to the reputational damage that these sorts of surveys can inflict in the longer-term.” Read more about the survey findings here.


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