We signed the Deeds Not Words pledge led by housing equalities charity Tai Pawb in 2020.
It outlines our commitment to take action to:
- Mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and communities
- Improve the ethnic diversity of board and staff at all levels
- Communicate and engage
- Develop an inclusive culture
We want to make lasting changes that helps to remove racial inequality. We signed up to the Deeds Not Words pledge to take action over a five-year period.
We want our customers to feel safe in their homes, with fair access to opportunities to improve their quality of life. Here is an update on our progress so far:
We pledge to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on our Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and communities.
In 2020, we updated our existing risk assessment process to include the All Wales Covid-19 Risk Assessment Tool for front line colleagues.
We are committed to establishing a culture of wellbeing, focused on mutual responsibility so everyone can work safe and be well. We recently reviewed our colleague wellbeing offer to get feedback from colleagues on the existing offer.
On Time to Talk Day 2024, we introduced colleagues who have volunteered to become wellbeing-partners. They have started a programme of learning about mental health conditions. They are supported by our people and health & safety teams to provide be a listening ear and signpost colleagues to expert help and support.
We pledge to improve ethnic diversity of board and staff at all levels
We partnered with the Pathway to Board programme in 2023. This is a continuous professional development opportunity designed to better equip individuals from minority ethnic communities who want to contribute to the leadership of an organisation, particularly the housing sector.
The aim of the project is to provide both practical and academic experience in the classroom and by observing board meetings. It provides individuals with the opportunity to influence and change how organisations make decisions that affect Welsh communities and will hopefully be part of a movement to change the face of leadership across Wales. We look forward to continuing our work with the Pathway to Board programme.
In our recruitment review (2023), we adopted the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule, adapted from American football, is a form of positive action which organisations can use when their workforces do not reflect their communities.
Using this, we can help ensure that candidates from a minority ethnic background are interviewed where all essential criteria are met. We have also reviewed and refreshed the language within our recruitment advertising to try to encourage more applications from minority ethnic communities.
Colleagues are asked each year to review their diversity details, including ethnicity. This enables us to assess representation, access to opportunities and outcomes across recruitment, promotion and retention from different equality groups.
The Welsh Government’s Anti-Racism Wales Action Plan requires all Board members, senior management and colleagues to take part in Anti-Racism training. To help create better awareness and understanding,training for Board members and senior management took place in January 2024 and training for colleagues takes place in March and April 2024.
We pledge to communicate and engage
We continue to publicise our support for minority ethnic colleagues. Examples include colleague stories to mark Black History Month. We invite experts in their field to our Let’s Talk sessions to help us further understanding of ethnic minority groups. This includes white privilege, reducing misconceptions and stereotyping,.
We won’t introduce policies or changes to services without considering our customers and taking their views into account before we do it. This will include building on existing connections and reaching out to other groups and partners, so all voices are heard.
We pledge to develop an inclusive culture
Progress against our Deeds Not Words action plan continues to be reported and monitored by our leadership group. Progress is also reported within our regulatory improvement plan reported to Welsh Government.
All Board reports where this is an impact on colleagues and customers provide details of equality impact assessments carried out. This means that we consider our customers and take their views into account before introducing policies and changes to services.