Equality and Diversity

Equality and diversity is at the core of ema’s business model. We are proud to work with housing associations, charities and private sector organisationslooking to enhance board and management team diversity – while also striving to improve our own performance when it comes to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity.

One of the most important ways organisations can make a difference is by better recruitment and selection processes. Ultimately, this is the right thing to do. But it also means organisations can draw on a wider and more diverse talent pool, which is a better reflection of the communities and customers they serve. They need to create cultures that our conducive to ensuring diversity is embedded into an organisation’s working practices.

The housing sector is committed to addressing underrepresentation of sections of the community – and EMA is playing a leading role in making this happen. We recognise however that, despite significant progress, there is still more we can do.

Our expertise in areas such as HR, recruitment and organisational change means we are well placed to support organisations which want to take practical and meaningful action. We can help organisations to maximise the many benefits of the Equality and Diversity agenda, to embrace change and improve workplace culture.

How we recruit is a big part of this and we are skilled at utilising traditional approaches, as well as modern digital marketing methods including online advertising and social media networks, to draw from a diverse talent pool which includes women, ethnic minority groups, disabled and LGBTQ+ candidates.

We help clients to shortlist based on identifying the best talent available for the role, while developing nonbiased interview questions and other selection techniques. We also use personality profiling as a knowledge management tool to evaluate personal attributes, values, and life skills to maximise job performance and contribution to the company.

We recognise that equality and diversity begins at home, and have taken many steps in recent years to improve our own record.  In the last two years we have …

  • Increased our recruitment of candidates from ethnic minority groups to 13.4%
  • Recruited 53.3% female candidates
  • Improved recruitment of candidates with a disability or from LGBTQ+ background – to 8%.

All EMA staff and associates now undertake mandatory unconscious bias training which helps us to identify areas where we can make improvements. And in recruitment we have signed up to the Rooney Rule which guarantees at least one person from an ethnic minority background is long listed for all senior staff appointments.

We are also accredited by the Hampton Alexander Committee for promoting diversity in the makeup of boards and have also signed up to be a Disability Confident organisation.

EMA has also recently delivered and funded our second GetonBoard Programme aimed at encouraging more women and candidates from ethnic minority groups to join housing and third sector boards. The programme achieved an 85% success rate in its first year.

We also provide a pro bono coaching service to women and candidates from ethnic minority groups looking for their first executive role. However, we ensure that we avoid a conflict of interest and do not use this coaching for a recruitment fee.

Ultimately, the team at EMA believes that equality and diversity is a central part of fair and effective recruitment and retention processes. And we are committed to making further improvements in the years ahead.

We are a member of the Housing Diversity Network. The network is a not-for-profit, social enterprise that supports organisations in the housing sector become more inclusive in the way that they are run, and the services that they provide. The scheme provides our staff with a comprehensive programme of mentoring support and instant access to information and support on equality and diversity issues.