We stand in solidarity.
2020 - June, Latest news
As an organisation with a proud heritage of providing services for minority groups in our communities, and with a truly diverse customer and colleague base, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
PA Housing stands with the Black community and other minority communities against all forms of racism, and we encourage our partners and customers to do the same.
We’ve taken time before publicly posting on the subject and showing our support as we wanted to make sure our response was right and meaningful.
At PA Housing, we continue with our ‘Everybody is unique’ approach and during these times it is more relevant than ever before. We need to continue respecting and supporting colleagues and customers from all backgrounds, and to carry on and further develop the work that has been so important to our organisation’s heritage.
PA Housing is encouraging its employees to:
- Be accountable to one another
- Stand up for what is right and challenge racism when we see it
- Make their voices heard
- Partner with people and organisations with similar aims and objectives
We take our membership of Housing Diversity Network (HDN) extremely seriously, but we know that simply being involved is no longer enough. We need to speak out against racism and inequality in all its forms and ensure that our colleagues and customers understand this and feel supported; we know we can and will do more.
As an employer we have a diverse workforce, with 40% of our staff being from a non White British background, something we continue to be proud of, but again, we want to make sure we hear and understand issues any of our colleagues may be experiencing, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality or any other characteristic. The same approach applies to our equally diverse customers.
Dilip Kavi, Chief Executive of PA Housing, commented:
The challenges and varied experiences many of our colleagues and customers will have faced over the years can be seen as a strength in that it has taught us these things are wrong, and we are best placed not to repeat them, instead helping colleagues and customers, in a constructive way, to understand the concerns of others. We have done a lot for a long time – and we will continue to do better. We must do more.”
We’re working with our internal Equality & Diversity Advisory Group and ensuring race remains one of the key priorities for their work, along with other protected characteristics. We’re reviewing our Equality Diversity & Inclusion Policy, recruitment practices and other policies to ensure they remain robust in the current climate.
Dorothy Smith, Neighbourhood Team Manager, who sits on PA Housing's Equality & Diversity Group commented:
Following heart-breaking events, it is reassuring to know that PA stand together with BME communities against the prejudice and discrimination, so painfully highlighted by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of American police. This has rightly ignited anger cross the world and it is reassuring that PA are showing solidarity with our BME staff and communities. I have cried and sobbed over the past few weeks as it doesn’t just happen in America, it happens here as well. I am the mother of two black men and I’ve always known that they will experience things in their lives that their non-BME counterparts will never experience. Being a PA employee and part of the Equality & Diversity Group has given me an opportunity to educate and tackle racism, hate and prejudice in all forms wherever they occur. This is a time to rally round and have open honest discussions and demonstrate our commitment to equality, diversity and the inclusion of all PA staff and communities using our services. Do all lives matter? Yes – but right now only black lives are being targeted, jailed and killed en masse, so that's why the Black Lives Matter protests are focusing on black lives specifically. It isn't about starting a race war; the protesting is to end it."
Justine Irwin, Community Investment Coordinator, who also sits of the Equality & Diversity Group, commented:
I feel it is important to be on this Group, we are a very diverse committee and all are passionate and want to make difference to everyone equally. We know that there is a lot to do, and we are ready to put our all into it to make it right, and help others understand the challenges in minority groups."