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Irwell Valley Housing Association shortlisted for two diversity awards

28 March 2018

Irwell Valley Housing Association shortlisted for two diversity awards

Great news - we’ve been shortlisted for not one, but two 24housing Diversity in Housing awards. On the 14th March it was announced by 24housing that we have been shortlisted for the Community Role Model Award and the Gender Equality Award.

Luchia Fitzgerald, not just an Irwell Valley resident, but also the head of the Residents Scrutiny Panel and a champion for diversity and equality has been shortlisted for the Community Role Model Award. This award recognises someone who has done great work in their community to help with diversity and inclusion.

As an activist on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Manchester for over half a century, Luchia has ensured that LGBT tenants in need of support can approach her for advice and support as a trusted and knowledgeable advocate.

Luchia has worked hand in hand with us to develop an LGBT strategy, which helps them to support customers and colleagues across the broad spectrum of sexuality and gender identity, through awareness raising, training and improved consultation. We are also working together to address the issues facing older LGBT communities.

Sasha Deepwell, CEO of Irwell Valley said “We are so privileged to be working with Luchia – a true ambassador for equality, champion for diversity and campaigner for equality. Luchia’s lifetime of experience and knowledge is helping us to improve housing services and support the LGBT community

She went on to say “She has been brave when others were scared, has spoken out when others were silent and been a friend to countless people who have been outcast. Her journey of overcoming adversity and helping others in her community is inspirational and truly deserving of this award.”

We have also been shortlisted for the Gender Equality award, for the organisation who has made progress in either employing more women or increasing the levels of women to higher positions in the company. Irwell Valley champions gender and equality across the organisation, in recent years there have been increasing levels of women in senior positions within the organisation. We are currently led by an all-female senior leadership team.

We have worked hard to actively remove obstacles and prejudices that may prevent women from realising their leadership potential, especially in positions that are traditionally male dominated. 70% of our senior management team have been placed through progression within the business.

Sasha Deepwell, CEO is a driving force and a steadfast advocate of addressing gender equality, she is amongst only 34% of women leading housing associations. She is also the Equality and Diversity Lead for Greater Manchester Housing Providers and the Chair of Women in Social Housing North West.

The awards ceremony will take place on the 10th May 2018 at the Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham. We are really excited to attend.