London-based housing organisations develop diverse emerging talent programme

Also published by Inside Housing here.

A group of four London-based organisations, including housing associations and a developer have joined forces with Future of London and Altair, with the support of the GLA, to test the feasibility of a London-wide emerging talent programme specifically aimed at generating more diversity in our future leaders.

Speaking about the programme, Nicola Mathers, Chief Executive of Future of London said:   

‘There is a well-recognised lack of diversity in the built environment profession with a narrow talent pool entering the sector. This is at odds with the well-publicised benefits of increasing diversity in organisations. Specifically, new perspectives, a greater capacity for creativity and innovation and competitive advantage. It is also simply the right thing to do.

A change is needed now more than ever to meet today’s significant challenges. Future of London and Altair’s solution, working with a group of co-designers is to reach out to under-represented groups to offer an inclusive entry point for a greater diversity of talent into London’s housing and regeneration sectors.’

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Reach out to under-represented groups/communities in London
  • Attract new people to the sector through strong branding exercise
  • Increase understanding and awareness of the range of career opportunities in the sector
  • Offer a two-year programme and rotation through partner organisations
  • Create opportunity to cross-fertilize between housing associations, local authorities, consultancies and private developers
  • Create an opportunity to fast-track talented leaders

The programme focuses on the talent pipeline and is a natural complement to Future of London’s Leaders programme and to Leadership 2025’s aspiration to create a talent pool of diverse future leaders. Five organisations across the social housing, development and urban regeneration sector in London have agreed to test the feasibility of the programme.

The organisations are Network Homes, Peabody, Catalyst, Hill Group supported by the GLA.

Fiona Deal, Executive Director of People & Technology – Network Homes

‘Having been part of the Leadership 2025 Steering Group for two years, I am delighted now to be involved on behalf of Network Homes in co-designing and co-sponsoring the Emerging Talent Programme. If we want to create more diversity in the sector’s leadership, we need to start at the grass roots and build a strong pipeline. The talent is undoubtedly there. This will help is to tap into it, and to nurture it.’

Andrea Gordon, Director of HR – Peabody

‘The Emerging Talent Programme will help shape London’s future success. It’s an exciting opportunity to help unearth and develop future leaders in our great city and will help us boost diversity and inclusivity in our industries. Peabody has always put great emphasis on collaboration, sharing expertise, and nurturing talent and we’re pleased to continue this in partnership with Future of London members’

Alison Henderson Director of People, Catalyst

“I am delighted that we are able to be part of co-creating the emerging talent programme to harness the abundance of diverse expertise and knowledge in London. We absolutely recognise the need to, and are committed to, increasing diversity and inclusivity across the sector, and very much look forward to doing more with Future of London and its members.”

Greg Hill, Deputy CEO, Hill Group

“Working in estate regeneration for the last 20 years has given us a unique understanding of the challenges inner city living can bring, which is why we are so proud to be a part of this programme. Not only does this initiative seek to address the woeful lack of diversity within our industry, it also provides candidates with access to a diverse range of skill sets and valuable experience through in-depth secondments, demonstrating the multitude of career opportunities which the housebuilding sector can offer.”

To find out more about the programme or to discuss how you could get involved please contact Oli Pinch, Head of Networks, Future of London, or Jennifer Rolison, Head of Marketing and Communications, Altair.