Collaborating to achieve change: MTVH joins Change the Race Ratio

07 July 2021

Summary: Ensuring our leadership is reflective of the diverse communities we serve is essential to improving our service offer for customers and respecting our founding values.

At MTVH, we believe that our leadership should reflect the diverse communities we serve. We know that increasing ethnic diversity at a senior level will enable us to improve our service offer for both our customers and colleagues.

That’s why, in February, MTVH joined Change the Race Ratio, a cross-sector campaign that aims to increase ethnic and racial diversity at Board and Executive level. The Change the Race Ratio central ambition is to foster inclusive workplaces, which strongly reflects both our organisational aims and founding values as a provider of homes for the Windrush generation.

The campaign was founded by a group of senior business leaders from a range of sectors who are committed to addressing the lack of representation of ethnic minorities at leadership level and supporting organisations to tackle structural inequalities in the workplace. As a signatory, MTVH is committed to action on the following four promises:

  • Increasing racial and ethnic diversity among Board members;
  • Increasing racial and ethnic diversity in senior leadership;
  • Being transparent on targets and actions;
  • Creating an inclusive culture in which talent from all diversities can thrive.

To enable us to deliver on our commitment to make meaningful progress on these areas, we have a number of initiatives already in place including:

  • A review of approaches to recruitment, including our implementation of the Rooney Rule;
  • Colleague participation in Leadership 2025, a leadership development programme for ethnic minority professionals within the housing sector;
  • Welcoming a third cohort of 19 employees and customers to the Black on Board programme, a training course and community aimed at improving the racial diversity on Governing Boards of organisations across the UK, as well as providing additional development through our speciality partnership organisations;
  • Celebrated our Windrush history through a series of virtual events;
  • Launching a Data Campaign that will provide a detailed insight of our colleague demographic, allowing us to better tailor our development and support services.

We have also placed a greater emphasis on having honest and direct conversions. In response to the events of last year and the reinvigorated awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have given greater attention to providing safe spaces for ethnic minority colleagues to talk about their experiences of ethnic disparity and racial prejudice.

We are also a signatory of the G15 Diversity pledge, which commits us, along with London’s largest housing associations, to have 30% representation of ethnic minorities on our boards by 2025. Targets are important and we are pleased to have made progress on the racial parity of our leadership, with ethnic minorities now making up 20% of our boards, however it is clear that far more work needs to be done and we do not shy away from this reality. As Chair of the G15 and a leader on developing the pledge, this commitment to addressing structural inequalities and diversifying our leadership is central to our Chief Executive Geeta Nanda’s ambitions for the next two years.

At MTVH, our support of the Change the Race Ratio reflects our commitment to being an anti-discriminatory organisation. We aim to foster a collective consciousness that truly values equality and offers space for learning – as we all must continue to do, as individuals and organisations, if real progress is to be made in this area.

Collaboration is a powerful tool for achieving this change. By working with partners from across the business, social and public sectors on the Change the Race Ratio, we are able to hold one another accountable and share learning about what’s working well, where we could do better and how we can take steps towards a fairer society overall.