30 August 2018

In the run up to our first Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Housing Conference we've noticed a lot of diversity-specific job titles on the delegate list. So we decided to do some investigating to find out a bit more about these roles and how they came into being. Melanie's blog is the first in this mini-series.

How did you become a EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Lead?

1. How has your role come into being? When was it created?
My role was recently created in the last few months - I think there were a few contributing factors. I am the chair of our staff network group for LGBT colleagues and we were trying to re-establish the group. I asked for support within organisation as I couldn’t manage to do all that needed. A short time later we got a new Executive Director of People. It was discussed with her and she felt that a role was needed where EDI was their focus.

2. Why are diversity issues so important in your organisation now?
It’s always been really important. It’s ingrained in our history: we were established by Lady Molly Huggins to address the issues of social housing for immigrants from the West Indies.

3. What’s the one thing that you’re working on in this area which really excites you?
All of it really, we’re just starting a programme, Black on Board, in conjunction with Olmec. Black on Board is a programme for all BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) colleagues to enable them to take up board positions through training and mentoring. Through the programme, BAME colleagues will be offered training to help them become an effective board member in the future. Participants will gain plenty of transferable professional skills, along with the confidence to operate at board level in any type of organisation. Candidates don’t need any previous experience, just the desire to be a member of a board and the ability to communicate effectively, make decisions and work as a member of a team.

Melanie Holloway

Melanie is EDI Lead at Metropolitan

Melanie has 20 years’ experience working in frontline social care settings, 10 of which were as a registered manager. She also has two years’ experience working as a Learning & Development Consultant, supporting the care and support side of Metropolitan including training delivery. She is currently the chair of their staff LGBTQ+ network group and has recently started in a new role as EDI Lead.