When launching its Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan in June 2022, Welsh Government outlined its vision for Wales to become anti-racist by 2030. The plan speaks to all aspects of public life – housing, education, health, employment and more.
As a provider of homes and services in diverse communities across South Wales, United Welsh clearly has an important role to play in creating an anti-racist Wales.
We currently provide almost 6,500 homes and we aim to build 1,300 more in the next five years. Our services also support thousands of people to live happily and independently.
Here is our 12-month Anti-Racist Action Plan.
Here is our Anti-Racist Plan summary.
To work towards fulfilling our vision of becoming an anti-racist organisation, our Anti-Racist Action Plan currently focuses on three areas:
We will work to continuously improve the ethnic diversity of the United Welsh Board and staff at all levels.
2. Service provision
We will embed anti-racism and race equality throughout our service design and delivery.
3. Communication and engagement
We will show our support for racial equality and provide platforms for people from ethnic minority backgrounds to shape, influence and change the services we deliver.
United Welsh Group Chief Executive, Richard Mann said:
“Within the not-for-profit housing sector, we pride ourselves on being values-based, providing services that are built around respect, honesty and integrity, but ultimately, the actions we take are what counts.
“This anti-racist plan is United Welsh’s next step in our contribution to a more equal Wales.
“Becoming anti-racist is a long-term commitment, and we intend to build on good practice to play our part in achieving an anti-racist Wales for everyone who lives here and works here, and for everyone who enjoys the place we call home.”
What have we done so far?
- We signed up to the ‘Deeds not Words’ pledge by housing equalities charity Tai Pawb in 2020, to take action against racial inequality
- We made equality and unconscious bias training mandatory for all staff and Board members
- We implemented the Rooney Rule to improve the diversity of our recruitment process.
- We signed up to the Community Jobs Compact to tackle under-representation in our workforce and to promote our jobs to a wider audience.
- We launched a recruitment campaign for new Board members, emphasising why we need diversity on our Board. One of our new Board members joined us from the Pathway to Board programme, which works with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people to support them to be ‘board ready’.
- We updated and relaunched our recruitment policy and procedure. Any trained staff member can volunteer to join a recruitment panel and support Employing Managers with the hiring process to make the process more inclusive.
- We have continued our bi-monthly EDI Forum, which has an open-door for any staff member to attend, influence and lead conversation.
- We participated in the Get Into Housing project led by CCHA to work with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people who want to start a career in housing or gain work experience. We offered a total of five, six-month work placements, and three individuals went on to gain permanent employment with us.
- We created new brand guidelines, which included developing new artwork to represent more people with different skin tones in our communications.
- We created an Inclusive Language Guide to support staff with recognising the importance and use of inclusive language.
- We started an EDI Data Working Group to identify what EDI data we hold, and to consider where the gaps and inconsistencies lie.
- We shared the results of an anonymous staff survey about how inclusive our staff feel United Welsh is as an organisation. 93% of those surveyed felt that there had been an improvement in our approach to tackling racism.
- We provided advice to staff about reporting racism, support available following a racist experience, and what to do if you witness racist behaviour.
- We developed and implemented a diversity calendar of events.
- We celebrated Black History Month, hosted guest speakers to inform staff about Black History and the Windrush Legacy, and raised awareness of Ramadan.
- We incorporated EDI and tackling racial inequality as a standard agenda item in Executive team meetings.
In May 2023, we launched our Strategy 2023/27, which states our dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion.
As an organisation we recognise that we are still in the early stages of our anti-racist journey, but we have started and we are determined to continue our progress in this decade and beyond.