Help us build a national picture of diversity of housing association staff in England

06 July 2021

Earlier this year we launched our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data tool. Created by the NHF, alongside a group of housing associations, the EDI tool allows housing associations to compare key characteristics of their workforce to the communities they serve. We produced the tool to help housing associations better understand the diversity of their staff. By being representative, housing associations can build trust within their communities, ensure better business decisions and develop inclusive environments for people of all backgrounds to flourish.

The tool is easy to use and provides a great place for any housing association to start, or continue, a conversation about diversity. Now that our members are using the tool, we want to take the next step to harness the power of this information.

Our goal

We want to understand the diversity of our sector’s staff in comparison to the communities they serve. Through collating the data produced by housing associations who have used the tool, we will be able to benchmark where we are as a sector and track our progress going forwards. It will also improve the quality of equality data among participating housing associations. By collecting this data regularly, we will begin to understand the impact our member’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion. This will provide opportunities to share learning and good practice. Creating a national picture will be vital to informing our sector’s approach and will let housing associations compare their own position to wider, relevant data.

What we need from you

In order to track this progress, we need you to contribute the data you have collected using our EDI tool. If you have used our EDI data tool, we ask you to submit the results of your research by following the instructions below.

Why submit your data

Submitting your data allows your organisation to contribute to progress on a national scale. Understanding diversity within our sector is something we are all responsible for. By contributing to our national project, you are ensuring your staff are included and your organisation is playing its part in this important project. We hope it will improve the quality of your data, as well as contributing to the first national picture of diversity of housing association staff in England. We would be amongst the only sectors to voluntarily produce such a picture, showing we are committed and passionate about building an equal, diverse and inclusive sector.

Is my data safe?

Your data will remain secure and anonymised throughout this process. The data tool only collects anonymised data.

We are creating a national picture, and individual organisation’s data will not be publically available in any way. We encourage you to be honest about where you are with diversity and inclusion so that we can all work towards understanding what the sector looks like and where we might need to improve.

If you have any GDPR concerns about submitting your data, please seek guidance from your data controller.

    How to submit your data

    Submitting your data is easy, you just need to follow these four steps:

    1. Download the NHF’s EDI data tool – you must be an NHF member and logged in to the website to access this. Anyone working for an organisation that is an NHF member can register and login using their work email and our system will automatically grant access. The registration process is simple.
    2. Complete the data tool using the instructions. If you need more information about your staff, we have put together suggested questions to help complete the tool. You can also read our commonly asked questions for further information.
    3. For the data collection exercise, as a minimum, we would like you to complete as many characteristics as possible for ‘workforce by characteristic’. We would also like you to complete as many characteristics as possible for ‘executive to staff by characteristic’ and ‘board to staff by characteristic’. These are important to complete as these show diversity within key decision makers in the sector. If you don’t hold data on certain characteristics, be sure to mark ‘Do not know’ rather than leave blank.
    4. Save your Excel file with your organisation’s name. Send your completed data tool to us, in Excel format, by 23 September 2021.

    If you have any questions about this process, please contact Bekah Ryder on the details below.

    Who to speak to

    Bekah Ryder, Senior Researcher