The National Housing Federation has launched a data tool today which will enable its members to understand how representative their workforces are of the communities they serve.
Housing associations will be able to input the nine protective characteristics of their workforce and leadership – including their race, gender identity, and religion - and compare it to the characteristics of the populations in their stock locations. Using this data, social landlords will then be able to develop evidence-based plans to ensure their staff reflect their communities.
This is the next stage in the NHF’s broader equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work which launched last year to address the lack of diversity within the sector. The data tool follows an insight report released in November 2020 which sought to establish how equal, diverse and inclusive the social housing sector is.
While current data shows that, for instance, just 7% of board members from the top 50 housing associations were BAME individuals, overall it found that there was limited data available on all nine protective characteristics across the sector’s workforce.
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “This tool is a critical next step in ensuring that the NHF’s equality, diversity and inclusion work instigates real change and helps housing associations truly represent their communities.
“Our members are committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities in which they operate. But until now, the sector hasn’t had the tools to truly understand how representative social housing landlords really are. Now, housing associations will be able to use this data tool to see clearly where they are not representative and make targeted plans to address any shortcomings.
“This will certainly require our sector to have a very honest conversation with itself, but this is a great opportunity for us to show leadership and demonstrate our commitment to creating a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. I would urge all housing associations to make the most of it.”