A member of Together Housing Group’s (THG) board has scooped a national award for her efforts to overhaul the organisation’s approach to diversity.
Michelle Park (pictured, centre) scooped Board Member of the Year in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards.
She was appointed as THG’s Board Champion for Diversity in February 2018, since then she has overseen a complete overhaul of the organisation’s approach to equality and diversity (E&D). This has included signing a pledge on behalf of the organisation, to ensure that all E&D commitments are published and scrutinised by internal and external stakeholders.
Park has also been instrumental in overseeing a new approach to board member recruitment and has been successful in creating a succession plan including six new members, including young people, women and black and minority ethnic members.
Other achievements include leading the Group’s E&D Steering Group which is looking at more diverse developments to meet the needs of the various communities it serves, as well as innovative talent management planning, which aims to build in better diversity performance, particularly at senior levels of the organisation.
Park also champions internally more sophisticated data regarding residents, so that Together Housing can provide “more tailored and sensitive services”, based on the particular needs and aspirations of individuals.
“At Together Housing, we are making real progress towards embedding equality and diversity considerations in everything we do,” Park said. “The commitment from staff along with the board on this agenda has been invaluable in helping us make positive changes to how we work.”
Tahir Idris, THG’s equality and diversity manager, added: “This award is testament to Michelle’s commitment to promoting equality of opportunity among our residents, staff and stakeholders. Michelle loves to focus on getting things done, too, rather than paying lip service to this important issue. She is an inspiration and we are so proud of everything Michelle has achieved and are delighted that her efforts have been recognised independently.”
Park has worked in the housing industry for 30 years, having previously worked for the National Housing Federation, local authorities and housing associations. She now provides specialist support to help older people downsize and move home via Yorkshire Move Manager, which she set up in 2011.