EDI data tool: comparing your workforce to your local community

We’ve been working with our EDI in Housing member group to drive progress towards a more equal, diverse, and inclusive housing association sector

Our ambition is to inspire diverse talent, driving progress towards a more equal and diverse cohort of leaders and a culture of inclusivity. This will build greater trust within our communities and workforces, attract new talent to our sector, allow better business decisions and ensure our people flourish. 

Why is EDI important? 

In November 2020, the NHF launched our insight review on Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in housing association staff in England. This looked at the current EDI landscape of housing staff across the country. 

The insight review showed data gaps and exposed that where we do have EDI data, just how far we have to go. As such, part of our work on EDI in housing has focused on improving and understanding data on EDI. We need to know where we are in order to know where we want to be and measure our progress.  

By supporting the sector to better understand the diverse characteristics of their communities, and how their workforces compare to them, we are helping the sector form a solid foundation for ensuring our leadership is diverse, and that housing association workplaces embrace equality.  

Diversity benefits

There is a strong moral case for equality, diversity and inclusion. Our insight review also highlighted the business case - diversity within a workforce improves the performance and productivity of organisations. People trust leaders that reflect the diversity of the people they lead, the customers they serve, and the communities in which they are rooted.  

Talent can be found all around us and attracting it from the widest pool possible creates competitive advantage – as a sector, by not being as diverse as we could be, we are missing out on talent. 

What is the EDI data tool? 

This tool, designed and developed by the NHF, enables housing associations to compare workforces to the communities they serve, based on population in stock location. It looks at all nine protected characteristics and socio-economic background. The tool is easy to use and provides a great starting place for any housing association to start, or continue, a conversation about diversity. It also allows organisations to measure the impact of actions to improve EDI. 

Members can download the NHF's EDI data tool below – please note 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.

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.

Collecting housing associations’ EDI data

We used our EDI data tool to conduct a data collection exercise in the sector in 2021. We collected completed tools from 174 of our members, capturing equality, diversity and inclusion data for their workforce, executive team, and board members. These members own 71% of all housing association homes in England.

You can read the findings, and our recommendations, in our report How diverse is the housing association workforce in England?

While the findings show we are not as representative as we would like, we are proud of this important step in better understanding diversity in the sector. We look forward to working with the sector, alongside our EDI in Housing member group, and using data to drive change. This will include repeating the data collection exercise in 2023.

How will the NHF update the EDI data tool?

The NHF’s data tool will be updated to include Census 2021 data by local authority when this becomes available. When this is released, we will also include the latest stock information from the Regulator of Social Housing (the private registered provider stock).

We will also look to add a section to allow people completing to add notes, automatic calculation of staff in the executive and board tabs, calculation of percentages excluding don’t know and prefer not to say, and a tab for showing EDI data on management.

If you would like to suggest an improvement to the EDI data tool, please contact research@housing.org.uk.

Member only

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Who to speak to

Bethan Buck, External Affairs Manager