Q. What is Leadership 2025?
A. Now in its 5th year, Leadership 2025 is a leadership programme which aims to support and empower BME senior professionals to become sector leaders of the future. More than just a leadership programme, Leadership 2025 seeks to positively disrupt the housing sector by challenging current perceptions and promoting the fact that diversity is not just something that ticks boxes but is actually good for business. Leadership 2025 has a long-term ambition of supporting the creation of a housing sector that is vibrant and diverse at all levels, with better representation of BME individuals at leadership levels.
Q. I’ve been a senior manager for the last decade and been on many leadership programmes in my career. How will this programme help me move up to the next level?
A. What this programme is not about is developing your technical ability to fulfil your current role. It is assumed you are already technically excellent at what you do. However, getting to the next level is also your ability to navigate through the glass maze of executive leadership and on this programme, you will learn and experience specific strategies and ways of thinking that will equip you for that step up to next level when the opportunities arise.
Senior managers who have benefited from the programme include Chyrel Brown, now Chief Operating Officer of One Housing Group and Ben Laryea, now Chief Executive of Ekaya HA.
Q. Why is this programme aimed at Senior BME Professionals?
A. Statistics collected by Inside Housing show that only 5.6% of CEO roles are held by individuals from a BME background, compared to a 14% BME make-up of the total population.
Whilst there are a number of BME CEOs in BME HAs, these organisations tend to be between 50 – 5,000 units. The representation of BME individuals in larger HAs drops significantly.
This programme is aimed at addressing this under representation of BME individuals in leadership roles across the sector, including the larger HAs by giving greater visibility to the BME senior talent within the sector. The programme is therefore for senior professionals that have the potential to be CEOs and sector leaders in the future.
Q. What is the eligibility criteria?
A. To be eligible to apply for Leadership 2025 you will need to be:
- An existing housing professional in a Director position working in any sized Housing Association or CEO of a small Housing Association (less than 5,000 units)
- From a BME background
Q. How do I apply?
A. To apply, please submit the following documents on the Leadership 2025 website:
- CV (maximum 4 pages)
- Supporting Statement (maximum 2 pages) outlining your motivation for applying to the programme and evidencing your suitability for selection
- A statement of recommendation (one page only) from your sponsoring organisation
Q. How does the selection process work?
A. All shortlisted participants will be invited to a formal interview. Interviews will take place in November 2021.
Q. When will I know if I have successfully secured a place on the programme?
A. The Leadership 2025 programme officially starts in December 2021, following the launch event. All successful candidates will be notified shortly after interviews take place.
Q. Will I get a qualification at the end of the programme?
A. Yes, this is a Roffey Park Business School accredited course. All attendees will receive a certificate from Roffey Park upon successful completion of the course.
Q. How long is the time commitment and what is the expected time out from the day job?
A. Leadership 2025 is approximately a 9-month programme. This will consist of 8 days on the Strategic Leadership Programme and 5 days for the core programme, which will include learning sets and development days. All successful participants will also have a mentor and up to four masterclasses on technical housing areas, which are 2-hour long sessions.
Q. This programme sounds wonderful, but I am unable to commit to the time requirements this year. Will there be another opportunity next year?
A. Our mission and expectation is that the Leadership 2025 programme will continue to run until 2025 and beyond. As such, there is no reason why there would not be an opportunity to apply next year providing you are still working in the housing sector.
Q. Are the mentors experienced enough to support me at my career level?
A. Leadership 2025 mentors will either be existing CEOs or non-Exec Board members who have a wealth of experience to support you in your career.
Q. How many people will be on this cohort?
A. Subject to demand, up to six places.
Q. Why is there a sector wide programme exclusively for BME professionals? Isn’t this discriminatory?
A. Research conducted by Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) showed that whilst the housing sector is a diverse employer with higher than average percentages of staff with disabilities, women and those from BME backgrounds, this diversity is not reflected in the senior leadership population. In fact, numbers of BME senior managers have diminished significantly over the past few years.
This initiative has been put in place to redress that balance so that those leading and making decisions about the future of our sector represent the population we serve as a sector.
Positive discrimination, where one person is treated more favourably than another because they have a protected characteristic, is generally prohibited under the Equality Act 2010, unless an occupational requirement applies.
However, positive action is different. Not just the adoption of the Rooney Rule but the whole of the Leadership 2025 programme is based on positive action, and it is lawful.
Q. I’ve seen programmes like this come and go before. How is this programme different?
A. Previous programmes were focussed on getting talented BME people (especially those at the beginning of their careers) to see the housing sector as a viable career option. Research has shown that this worked – the housing sector being one to the most diverse employers in the UK. However, Leadership 2025 has a vision of creating diversity at all levels of the sector. As such, this programme is pitched at higher seniority levels than programmes that have come before. The other difference is that Leadership 2025 is in it for the long haul. With long term ambitions, a dedicated steering group and a concentrated focus on buy-in from the sector as a whole, this is different to anything we have ever seen in housing.
Q. What is the cost of this programme?
A. The cost of this programme is £6,375 + VAT. This programme is discounted, with other leadership programmes offered by other business school ranging from £7,500 – £12,000 + VAT.
Q. Are sector leaders endorsing this programme?
A. Yes, they are. The G15 group of London’s largest organisations, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), National Housing Federation (NHF) and Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London are in support of this programme. As well as this programme, we commissioned Altair to carry out a review of diversity in the sector. In the Altair Review, there is a five-point action plan that organisations are asked to sign up to endorse and implement a programme of change. So far, 23 organisations across the country have signed up.
Q. What resources can I access upon completion of the programme?
A. All participants will form part of a select alumni group for the programme and will have access to the Roffey learning platform and learning resource centre. Participants will have also created valuable connections with peers across different industries. These connections can last for many years beyond programme completion.
Q. Will this programme be recognised by recruiters in the sector?
A. Yes. Our aim is that Leadership 2025 will become industry standard and will be recognised by internal recruitment teams as well as recruitment partners. A number of the significant recruiters in the sector have signed a pledge, stating their support in developing a more diverse talent pool of candidates for recruitment campaigns.
Q. What do past participants think of the course?
A. Previous participants have been overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of the programme. To hear what they have to say, click here.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – click here