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Our commitment to board diversity

Thursday 16 December 2021

Anda Baraskina, a Beyond Housing customer and Drew Pyper, a recent first time homeowner, both living in Scarborough, are accessing the programme, which is being delivered in collaboration with the Housing Diversity Network (HDN) and three other North East housing providers – Thirteen Group, Gentoo and North Star.

HDN’s Board Diversity Programme is an initiative that encourages the development of diversity at board level. The aim of the programme is to support people from diverse backgrounds to develop the skills needed to become effective board members.

Anda, who is originally from Latvia, works extensively with communities of different nationalities across the region, launching initiatives to support people to engage positively with their local areas.

Drew is a non binary, neurodiverse person. They are a self-employed photographer, charitable volunteer and a passionate advocate for equality diversity and inclusion. Over the past decade they have worked on cruise ships amongst a hugely diverse and intersectional workforce, engaging with and advocating for quietened voices from global communities. Drew works to positively affect the lives of underrepresented people around them who may not yet have the skills or opportunities to fulfil their goals, in particular through the lens of disability and mental health.

Lyn Peacock, Director of Governance & Business Assurance here at Beyond Housing, said: “When we advertised the trainee roles we were keen to encourage applications from our customers and communities, particularly from people aged under 35 or from minority ethnic or LGBTQIA+ backgrounds, all of whom are currently under-represented at board level at Beyond Housing, but also locally and nationally.”

In addition to our training programme, the trainees attend HDN workshops. Having already been matched with an external mentor, next year they will start to attend the HDN’s board excellence programme, which is designed to support board members who are new to governance or the housing sector to rapidly get up to speed, providing an understanding of finance, value for money, excellence in governance, development, board dynamics, the role of board members and much more.

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