11 September 2018

Having noticed a lot of diversity-specific job titles on the delegate list for the first Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Housing Conference, we commissioned a mini blog series to investigate how these roles came into being. This is the third article in the series.

1. How has your role come into being? When was it created?
I joined Swan as Housing Diversity Manager four years ago but the role was created approximately nine years ago as Swan is passionate about delivering social value and as such understands equality and diversity are key to this. The role of Housing Diversity Manager was created to help ensure inclusive service delivery whilst supporting our employee function and enhancing the work that we do.

2. Why are diversity issues so important in your organisation now?
At Swan, we are clear that our continued commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will help us to recruit and retain the best people and enable us to deliver our social purpose by being a successful, innovative and growing housing organisation that continues to put our diverse residents and customers at the heart of everything we do. With equality, diversity and inclusion there is always more that can be done and we are committed to doing just that.

3. What’s the one thing that you’re working on in this area which really excites you?
I really enjoy working with colleagues from across Swan, especially our Diversity Action Forum and SwanProud network, to maintain a positive and inclusive culture where staff and residents are engaged and feel supported and valued. Achieving this was one of the things the Housing Diversity Network (HDN) gave us a distinction for when they awarded us HDN Accreditation back in 2016. This work includes delivering training, writing (and encouraging others to write) articles and blog posts for the intranet and our resident newsletter, supporting colleagues to come up with and lead on diversity related projects, and arranging events including our annual Diversity Day, which was shortlisted in the ‘Best Diversity Scheme’ category at the 24housing Diversity Awards 2018. I also love using my work twitter account to celebrate diversity, promote equality and community cohesion and tackle hate crime and domestic abuse.

Anna Williams

Anna Williams is the Housing Diversity Manager at Swan Housing Association

Anna was 24 when she started her housing career. Having worked at Wandsworth Council for 11 years (first as a Housing Trainee then a Homelessness Prevention Officer and finally a Policy and Performance Officer – a role in which she led on various areas including equality and diversity) she is now Swan Housing Association’s Housing Diversity Manager – a role she has held for the last four years.

How I became a Housing Diversity Manager