Leadership 2010 – The Way Forward
This report draws on discussions held by a group of women Chief Executives and others, chaired by Baroness Dean , to improve the diversity of leadership amongst housing associations.
The leaders of our sector – Housing Association Chief
Executives, senior staff, board members and their chairs – are
responsible for shaping and directing organisations that carry
considerable social responsibility.
This report looks at the expectations and qualities needed for a 21st century leader, and the importance of increasing diversity in the sector's leadership, bringing in more women and people from different ethical and cultural backgrounds. We need to better reflect our customer base and be ready for future change in the next ten years.
In the next ten to fifteen years, changing demography, rising
customer expectations and the demands of the governments
sustainable communities plan will bring further change to the
sector and require a more diverse leadership that can work in a
more flexible way and meet the challenges. This will involve
recruiting and developing people accordingly.
The wider leadership debate has changed conventional qualifications are seen as less important than emotional intelligence and other qualities. There is a strong case for improving the diversity of our leadership and opportunities for change must be grasped to ensure continued success.
There are three key objectives:
- to look at the changing debate on leadership and articulate a vision for leadership of the housing association sector in the 21st century,
- to identify barriers including issues around recruitment practice and aspirations of potential candidates,
- to identify practical steps and long term strategies to overcome these barriers and make progress in achieving a more diverse leadership.
The report gathers targets and data on diversity in the workplace, a database of women who could be targeted to receive training and support, anecdotal evidence, personal barriers and recruitment practice.
The 'brainstorming' sessions have helped to shape
emerging strategies and practical actions. The main themes were
around recruitment and retention, competencies and training,
support for new leaders and improving image.
The action plan has resulted in the development of Leadership 2010, led by the Housing Corporation, which has set a target that by 2010, 50% of Chief Executives of the largest 200 housing associations will be women. Leadership 2010 will be responsible for delivering a number of initiatives, including recruitment packs and appointing champions.
June Barnes, Jackie Green and Liz Potter