BAME Network: Southern Housing Group

Aim of the Network

Our aims link to three themes: Community; Development and Education.

We aim to: create a home for all BAME employees (community) where BAME talent is nurtured and retained (development); and to educate the wider business about our experience (education). We achieve our aims by sharing our knowledge, experience and skills through events, activities and internal communications.

What current initiatives is your network doing to represent and support your BAME colleagues?

We are working on a variety of initiatives to help support and represent our BAME colleagues; this includes analysing employee data to establish how well represented different ethnicities are at each level of the organisation; this will help us identify areas for improvement and gaps in representation.

We are working with our Community Investment team to help establish a resident BAME network, to ensure their views are represented and they are receiving appropriate support.

In response to feedback about Black History Month, we are working on suite of celebratory and education events for all staff throughout the year.

As part of our response to the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd’s death we have arranged sessions for staff to discuss the personal impact of these events and explore how we can create something positive from these negative experiences.

Joining UNIFY is also an opportunity for us to help represent our BAME colleagues on a sector wide scale, improving our voice, reach and impact.

Who are the Co-Chairs of your BAME Network?

Whitney Wilkinson

Southern Housing
Deputy Company Secretary

June Heslop

Southern Housing
Area Services Manager

What is the current number of colleagues that are members of the network?

We currently have 19 members

Is there an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion strategy in place for your organisation?

Yes, there is an ED&I strategy in place; it is currently being reviewed and the network co-chair’s are helping to feed into these updates.

Tell us a little bit about what your organisation is currently doing outside of your network to meet the ED&I strategy?

Southern Housing Group signed up to Leadership 2025 programme, and progress towards this is monitored by the BAME Network and has been reported to the Group’s Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

We signed up to the G15 BAME diversity pledge committee to improve ethnic diversity throughout the organisation, particularly at senior levels.

We have held diversity training – It’s ok to be you – for all managers in the organisation to address unconscious bias.

Finally, we are working with Future for London on the BAME Emerging Talent Programme and are part of the G15 Accelerate Chartered Management Institute leadership development programme for aspiring BAME managers and Heads of Service.

How do colleagues within your organisation sign up to become members of your BAME network?

Membership is open to any colleague from Southern Housing Group who identifies as black, Asian or minority ethnic. We also welcome engagement from other colleagues when required or requested. Anyone interested in joining the network or attending meetings can contact one of the co-chairs or join the networks Yammer group.