L&Q joins other top housing associations to form diversity network

Published on 18/06/2020


L&Q’s diversity network has joined forces with representatives from other housing associations to help increase inclusion opportunities in housing.

Kaleidoscope, our cultural diversity network, represents L&Q within UNIFY – a collection of BAME groups from across the sector.

UNIFY is working together to share information, promote initiatives, host network events and increase BAME senior management opportunities through mentoring and coaching.

The group, founded by L&Q, Clarion, Notting Hill Genesis, Peabody and Metropolitan Thames Valley has grown into a 14-strong national network.

Its inaugural meeting with extended members took place in January including the refresh of its terms of reference and its key outcomes for 2020/21.

These are to increase networking opportunities and influence, improve the collection of member organisations’ BAME data to inform UNIFY’s approach, benchmark and monitor progress against agreed objectives, develop an online presence and host an impactful event.

UNIFY has four pillars: culture, career, network and mentor, and Kaleidoscope’s chair, Elaine Lewis, sits on the steering group for the network pillar. Maureen Martin, also a member of Kaleidoscope, sits on the UNIFY sub-committee.

An outreach event was held in November to engage with G15 housing association chief executives about what they are doing and their plans to overcome the distinct lack of opportunity for BAME people and their career progression, despite their ambition and capability. 

An event like this had never been done before and resulted in a welcome candid interchange, greater depth of understanding and awareness of issues facing BAME staff. There was a commitment to refocus strategic efforts, including enhanced collaborative working

Head of diversity and inclusion at L&Q, Jan Gale, said: “We’re proud of our inclusive culture at L&Q and we are always striving to do more.

“Our membership of UNIFY helps us share what works well for us and learn from others. It’s a great way for people across the sector to come together to help make things better for our people and residents.”