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LeadershipNow! – our partnership with UNIFY for new, aspiring and existing leaders

Rosie Gunn, Principal Consultant in our Housing practice, outlines how our commitment to greater leadership diversity led to the development of the LeadershipNow! programme in 2020 and explores what that has meant for some of those involved.

It was over four years ago that myself and fellow colleagues in our Housing practice, engaged in a period of consultation with focus groups, D&I leads and affinity groups, as we started to consider what we could actively do to accelerate greater leadership diversity in the sector.

This engagement and consultation led to our reaching out to UNIFY, a collection of ethnically diverse groups working together across the housing sector.  We met to consider how we could work in partnership to improve career opportunities for ethnically diverse leaders which we both agreed is pivotal to the sector’s success.

Together, through this shared mission, we have created the LeadershipNow! housing programme of bespoke initiatives, workshops and profiling development tools to accelerate learning for new, aspiring and existing leaders.

LeadershipNOW! works with participants to help highlight opportunities for career progression and to extend personal and professional networks across the social housing sector. Our partnership creates a safe space to support current and future ethnically diverse leaders to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

“LeadershipNOW! is a testament to the sector working together. I’m so proud to see a programme co-created by UNIFY members and GatenbySanderson have a significant impact on so many people. We understand there is more to do to create an inclusive culture for our alumni to thrive. I’m excited to see both the programme and inclusive leadership sessions continue and improve networks, as well as providing lots of practical tips and guidance for both our ethnically diverse and sector leaders to be the change we want to see. ”  Anthony Were, Development Manager, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

This programme, now in its 3rd year, has resulted in significant positive change in addressing greater representation of diverse leadership in the social housing sector, as well as supporting personal successes for participants.

“I participated in that programme and I found it truly enjoyable and enriching.I had 3 sessions I particularly enjoyed; one was understanding the importance of having a really good online presence especially in professional profiles liked Linkedin.  I also really enjoyed the coaching one to one sessions we had.  Lastly the leadership profiling session which was helping to understand what your leadership style was was really really useful.”  Ijay Onyechi, Director – New Homes & Customer Care, Peabody

“The programme started with a career evaluation discussion which was very enlightening, as was the leadership profiling development session with a Work Psychologist.  These two sessions really helped me to understand my career goal and what I wanted.  The whole recruitment process was demystified over a number of workshops and I learned something new at every session.” Nasreen Hussain, Director of Finance and Resources, Soha Housing

If you would like to work in partnership and discuss how we can help you accelerate equality and diversity within senior leadership social housing positions, then please get in touch.

Rosie Gunn, Principal Consultant | E:

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