17 September 2018

This is the final blog in our mini series, exploring new diversity-specific job roles within housing associations ahead of the first Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Housing Conference next month.

1. How has your role come into being? When was it created?

My role came into being in 2013, as a result of the need for a dedicated role to promote and embed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) within the organisation and to develop cohesion within our communities.

2. Why are diversity issues so important in your organisation now?

EDI has always been important to whg, however, at the time my role was created it was to better establish and deliver EDI priorities across the organisation and communities.

3. What’s the one thing that you’re working on in this area which really excites you?

The CIH’s 10 by 2020 Challenge, and the Inclusive Futures campaign is exciting as it challenges the sector and moves EDI further up the agenda. We’re also working on partnerships to engage new communities. It’s recently gained momentum with the launch of an Integrated Communities pilot in Walsall. Exciting times ahead!

Hyacinth Austin

Hyacinth Austin is the Equality and Diversity Manager for whg

Hyacinth Austin leads on Equality and Diversity reporting and compliance, promoting and embedding EDI across the business, and work with a range of partners to increase integration and cohesion amongst our communities.

Before taking up her current role, she was the Resident Engagement Manager for whg and previously worked as a Resident Liaison Officer at Castle Vale Housing Action Trust and as a Community Development Officer for a Tenants’ organisation in the West Midlands. Her former roles provided a great foundation for working with and gaining an understanding of various communities which serves her well in her current role.

One of the achievements she is particularly proud of in her role as Equality and Diversity Manager was securing funding for and the delivery and first LGBT Pride event in Walsall. The event is now firmly established as an annual fixture, and goes from strength to strength each year.

Outside of work she enjoys hanging out with family and friends, reading books and listening to audio books, playing mah-jong solitaire, keeping fit, and practicing Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

How I became an Equality and Diversity Manager