ADD2410 Leadership 2025 Funding

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
17 February 2020
Decision by: 
Rickardo Hyatt, Assistant Director of Housing and Interim Deputy Executive Director

Executive summary

Leadership 2025 aims to create a housing sector that is diverse at all levels and improve representation of individuals who are from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in executive positions. It is an intensive nine-month leadership development programme for senior BAME leaders working in the housing sector.

This decision seeks approval of £45,000 of grant funding to BME London to support the delivery of the Leadership 2025 programme from 2020 to 2022.


That the Assistant Director – Housing approves:

Expenditure of £45,000 grant funding to BME London to support the delivery of the Leadership 2025 programme, for two cohorts from 2020 to 2022.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background
  1. The Leadership 2025 programme is an intensive nine-month accredited leadership development programme developed by L&Q, Optivo and the BME London Group in partnership with Roffey Park Business School. The programme is for senior leaders from BAME backgrounds working in the housing sector and aims to guide and support them to become future Chief Executive/ Executive Directors in the sector. The initiative also aims to change current perceptions by challenging employers to take action and champion support for diverse leadership through demonstrable action.
  3. Since its launch in November 2017, which was hosted by the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at City Hall, the Mayor has used his convening powers via the Home for Londoners Board to promote the initiative and challenge the sector to improve. The GLA’s Executive Director of Housing and Land sits on the Leadership 2025 Advisory Board, which has oversight of the overall programme and provides guidance and advice to the overarching steering group.
  5. To date, two cohorts comprising eleven individuals have completed the intensive 9-month programme, one of whom has secured a position as Chief Executive of a small housing association, another as Chief Operating Officer of a G15 member and a third has become an Executive Director of Scotland’s largest social landlord. The third cohort of the programme comprising six people was launched at City Hall on 21 November 2019.
  7. The total cost of running the programme for the next two years is £90,000, and this decision requests approval for the GLA to fund 50 per cent of this cost, with the G15 (a group of London’s largest housing associations) funding the other 50 per cent. The GLA will therefore be providing £45,000 grant funding towards the delivery of the programme from 2020 to 2022.
  9. The below table provides a breakdown of total costs for the programme and a forecast of when activity will take place. Note that payments will be made in advance with the first tranche, for activity due to take place in 2020/21 will be released in 2019/20. The second payment will be made by March 2020/21.




Recruitment of participants

  • draft the attraction strategy and detailed search exercise to identify potential candidates for the programme.
  • arrange an Open Day to provide more information about the programme to potential applicants.
  • shortlist applicants to be invited to an assessment centre.
  • run the assessment centre.
  • provide ‘critical’ friend support and independent advice in the selection process.
  • provide detailed feedback to both successful and unsuccessful candidates.
  • provide inductions to the successful candidates.
  • develop an action plan for unsuccessful candidates, thereby helping to develop the talent pipeline within the sector.



Research and engagement with stakeholders

  • conduct meetings with key stakeholders to assist with implementing the five-point action plan as recommended from the Altair Review.
  • work with housing media to help drive the agenda forward at the sector level.
  • scope the possibility of using some of the funding to help individuals from small organisations get onto the programme, by way of setting up a bursary scheme




  • ensure the Steering Group, Foundation and Advisory Board remain connected with the programme.
  • support the Steering Group and Foundation with regular bi-monthly meetings.
  • support the Advisory Board with their regular, quarterly meetings.
  • develop the 360-degree feedback mechanisms and other monitoring, on the progress and success of the programme, as required.
  • administrative support with connecting mentors to course participants.
  • support the Steering Group and Foundation with the marketing and communications strategy.
  • support the Steering Group, Foundation and Advisory Board with input to future development of the programme.
  • regular contact with the Business School and course participants.
  • work with course participants to build their network within the sector, such as writing thought provoking blogs.




Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of the Leadership 2025 programme is to raise awareness, foster understanding and advance equality and diversity within the social housing sector for the benefit of the public. This will be achieved through:

• the support (sponsorship and other suitable means) of educational programmes and mentoring schemes into leadership and executive management positions for people belonging to groups which are underrepresented in social housing employment; and
• an accredited leadership programme involving activities such as strategic learning, peer group challenge, sector leadership mentors and technical masterclasses.

Leadership 2025 aims to:

• eliminate discrimination and unconscious bias;
• advance equality of opportunity (removing or minimising disadvantage, meeting the needs of people who share a relevant protected characteristic); and
• foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

The benefits of Leadership 2025 are expected to be two-fold, both at an individual level and at the housing sector wide level:

• providing BAME individuals with the skills and opportunities to widen their business networks and take on leadership positions. Each cohort is formed of six participants.
• positively disrupting the housing sector by challenging current perceptions and promoting diversity is good for business.

The long-term ambition of the programme is to support the creation of a housing sector that is vibrant and diverse at all levels, with better representation of BAME individuals at leadership levels. The programme will help guide senior BAME leaders in housing to navigate the challenges of executive leadership, becoming sector influencers of the future. The programme is open to any BAME leader working in the housing sector for a housing association or other public sector organisation that operates in London.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the GLA must have ‘due regard’ of the need to:

• eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
• advance equality of opportunity; and
• foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The housing sector falls short in the proportion of BAME people in key leadership roles. A survey conducted in 2017 identified a disproportionately small (four per cent) of senior leadership roles are held by individuals from BAME backgrounds, compared to a 14 per cent BAME make-up of the total population. Those from a Black Minority Ethnic background stand to benefit from this programme, increasing the proportion of BAME individuals at executive level within housing organisations. The Housing crisis disproportionality affects those with protected characteristics. It is expected this will improve business performance and build confidence within communities which organisations serve.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

There is a risk that the programme doesn’t meet its intended objectives, for example due to a failure to recruit an adequate number of participants in the programme. This risk is low due to the track record of Leadership 2025, which was launched in 2017, and already has a number of success stories which have been well publicised raising the profile of the initiative within industry.

The risk will be mitigated through a grant agreement between the GLA and BME London which provides for two tranches of payments. The second payment will be withheld should the programme fail to achieve key milestones. Altair are also working to identify participants for future programmes and Leadership 2025 have developed a strategic partnership with Future of London (an independent network for regeneration, housing and economic development practitioners) to support in developing a talent pool for future participants.

There may be a lack of time commitment from the Leadership 2025 Steering Group members who govern the programme and there may be a change in the membership of the group. To mitigate this risk, a project plan which outlines key milestones will be developed and Altair will provide project management support. New members will also be provided with an early induction.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

The work of Leadership 2025 directly supports the aim of the Mayor in making London a diversity city, and supporting diversity within the housing sector, helping London’s leaders look like London’s population.

c) consultations and impact assessments

The expected outcomes of this programme will not be subject to a formal consultation or impact assessment.

There are no conflicts of interest to note for any of the officers involved in the drafting or clearance of this decision form.

Financial comments

This decision seeks approval for expenditure of £45,000 to grant fund BME London to support in running the programme from 2020 to 2022. G15 will provide match funding of £45,000 to meet the total project cost of £90,000.

The expenditure will be funded from the Housing and Land Management and Consultancy budget with £22,500 to be spent in 2019/20 and £22,500 in 2020/21.

Activity table



Grant agreement in place

End of February 2020

First payment made

By March 2020

Year three and Year four of the programme are supported

From March 2020 – March 2021

Second payment made

By March 2021

GLA grant funding for programme is complete

March 2021

Year four and Year five of the programme are supported

From March 2021 – March 2022

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