Statement from Nigel Hopkins, Chair of mhs homes group

Embracing diversity goes beyond just a statement. We’re committed to acting, and creating a space where differences are celebrated, and voices are heard. We value the unique perspectives that diversity brings, and believe it enables innovation and collaboration so we can work together towards tackling the housing crisis.

We want our services to be accessible and inclusive to all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, or socio-economic status. We seek out diverse voices to enhance our decision-making and empower those we serve to help us shape the services that impact their lives.

Our commitment extends beyond our customers and communities. We are dedicated to nurturing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities. We promote an inclusive work culture where every colleague is respected, valued, and provided with equal opportunities to contribute and advance.

We’ve come a long way, but we know that there’s still more work to do. We pledge to hold ourselves accountable and be a driving force for positive change.

My personal experience

I want to share with you my passion for our equality, diversity, and inclusion approach, which is so vital to us working in our communities and with our great staff.

For nine years I worked at Remploy, the country’s leading employer of disabled people and I learnt what a significant achievement it was for many of Remploy’s people to fully participate in society. I also became visually impaired and have shared with them, and others, the challenges around impairment, but always focusing on what can be achieved and not what cannot.

Diversity leads to diversity of thought, which is so important to businesses, as we deal with the increasing number of challenges that mhs homes face. Equality and inclusion make us a better employer, and will help as we deal with our diverse customers and stakeholders.

Our approach

Our approach and targets for equality, diversity and inclusion will evolve over time. Right now we're working towards: 

  • Improving our understanding of our customers and staff and their diverse needs including through the collection of data where we have gaps and other sources of customer feedback;
  • Reviewing outcomes for customers through analysis of data, complaints, and other learning from how we deliver services;
  • Targets for diversifying our Board through positive action
    • One Black member of our Board by 2023 (achieved)
    • One disabled member – we will set targets for 2027 based on census data
  • Target for diversity of Leadership Team through positive action
    • One black member – we will set targets for 2027 based on census data
  • Target for diversity of our workforce
    • Increase the Black, Asian and minority ethnic composition of our workforce to 15% by 2025: reflecting our customer base and the communities we serve
    • Following further analysis, set targets to improve the diversity of staff at all levels in the business, with reference to our customer base and local community
  • Establish an EDI Taskforce chaired by the CEO (achieved)
  • Comprehensive learning and development programme including unconscious bias for Board, Leadership Team and colleagues
  • Awareness raising including through lunch and learn sessions for colleagues
  • Community engagement including sponsorship and participation at Medway Pride
  • Achieving Housing Diversity Network accreditation by March 2024
  • Action plan for growing diverse talent including mentoring/reverse mentoring
  • Implementing diverse and inclusive recruitment, talent management, and succession planning strategies so that there are clear career pathways for Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees and employees from other underrepresented groups.
  • Ensuring that our commitment to being anti-racist is at the heart of the way we operate as a social landlord.

Our anti-racism statement

Our anti racism statement affirms our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation and to making meaningful and sustainable change. It demonstrates our intention to hold ourselves accountable and to be judged on our actions, not words.

Read our full anti racism statement from the Chair of mhs homes group, Nigel Hopkins, and our Chief Executive, Ashley Hook.

RACE Equality Code

We’re proud to have been awarded the RACE Equality Code quality mark in March 2023 in recognition of the improvements we’re making in race equality.

The RACE Code – which stands for Reporting, Action, Composition and Education – is specifically about increasing diversity in senior leadership and enabling opportunity.

To be awarded the mark, we’ve developed an action plan to make positive changes and create a more inclusive culture across all levels of the organisation.

There’s still a long way to go, but this award marks an important step in our journey to show that we’re fully committed to race equality.

Race Equality Code logo

Our gender and ethnicity pay gap report

We employ over 250 people and we're required to publish our annual gender pay gap data. Although it's not required we also choose to publish our ethnicity pay gap data.

Read our gender and ethnicity pay gap report and what our plans are to reduce any gaps.

Our recruitment process

We positively encourage applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

We use an anonymised recruitment shortlisting process. This means that when someone applies for a job, their identifiable information is removed from job applications and CVs. This is to help reduce unconscious bias, increase diversity and create a fairer recruitment process when we're looking for new colleagues to join #teammhs. 

We’re a Disability Confident employer. This means if you tell us you have a disability and meet the minimum requirements for the job, we’ll offer you an interview. We're flexible when assessing people so everyone has the best opportunity to demonstrate they can do the job.

Disability confident employer logo

Housing Diversity Network

We successfully achieved accreditation from the Housing Diversity Network in March 2024.

Our values and behaviours

Our values and behaviours underpin everything we do. Our colleagues reflect them in their work, and they act as a reminder that we're all part of one team, #teammhs, and working towards the same goals.

Our PRIDE values and Leadership behaviours have been designed to show best practice in equality, diversity and inclusivity in our workforce and in our communities.