Optivo leads the way in sector change programme!


24 November 2017

Image: Attendees, including Optivo Chief Executive Paul Hackett, at the Leadership 2025 eventA new initiative which aims to address the imbalance of BME (Black and minority ethnic) professionals in leadership roles in the housing sector has been officially launched at City Hall.

And Optivo are playing a major role in delivering this sector change programme.

Leadership 2025 is an initiative sponsored by Optivo, L&Q and BME London.

Six participants have been selected for an intensive nine-month business school accredited programme with the aim of preparing them to become the sector leaders of the future.

Image: The first six participants of the Leadership 2025 programmeThe six professionals, who came from a range of housing organisations, were revealed at the launch event which was attended by many key figures in the sector.

One of the six is Optivo’s very own Bunmi Atta, our Director of Construction.

Optivo’s Chief Executive, Paul Hackett, spoke at the event along with Steve Douglas, who is Vice Chair of the Optivo Board and Co-Chief Executive at Altair.

Other attendees included:

• Kate Dodsworth, Optivo’s Executive Director of People & Strategy who also sits on the Steering Group of Leadership 2025
• James Murray, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development
• Gina Amoh, Chair of the BME London Group and CEO at Inquilab.

Image: Kate Dodsworth (pictured centre) at the eventIn November 2017, a survey by Inside Housing showed there were only three BME chief executives (out of 64 associations to respond) and 15 BME executives (including the three chief executives) out of 330 executives – the equivalent of 4.5%.

Paul Hackett explained that as “a leader in the most wonderful sector in the most wonderful city”, he is personally taking responsibility for what happens next to address this issue.

He added: “I’m going to take this challenge on the chin. This is my problem. I hope my fellow leaders will do the same. We have a strategic problem and, like any leader, it’s our responsibility to take ownership and sort it out.”

Speaking at the event, Steve Douglas described how leaders in the sector must lead by example.

Image: Steve Douglas (centre) speaking at the Leadership 2025 eventMr Douglas told the audience: “It’s actually for you as leaders to say you’re prepared to stand up and be counted. To recognise we’re not doing so well at the moment, but to set yourself the challenge that you’ll make a difference.”

The event, held on Thursday 23 November, included a video message from The Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.

Mr Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is one of the biggest barriers to Londoners fulfilling their potential: it holds back growth, increases living costs and stops Londoners from sharing in the prosperity our city generates. That’s why as mayor I’ve made clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is one of my top priorities. And if we’re to meet to this challenge we need to make sure our housing sector can draw on the talents of people from the widest possible range of backgrounds.”

• You can find out more about Leadership 2025 by clicking here. You can also read The Altair Review (PDF - 1MB), a research review by Altair Ltd, which looks more in-depth at delivering a step-change in diverse leadership across the housing sector.