A Together Housing Group board member has won Board Member of the Year in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards.
Michelle Park scooped the award for her commitment to drive a more inclusive approach to new developments and tailoring services to tenants by ensuring individual needs and requirements are recorded and acted upon.
Since being appointed as Board Champion for Diversity at Together Housing Group in February 2018, Michelle 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.
Michelle 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. Finally Michelle is championing 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.
Michelle, who has been working in the housing industry for 30 years, said: “I am honoured to have been nominated and so pleased to be recognised with the Board Member of the Year award.
“At Together Housing, we are making real progress towards embedding equality and diversity considerations in everything we do. 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, Together Housing Group’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.”
Having previously worked for the National Housing Federation, local authorities and housing associations, Michelle now provides specialist support to help older people downsize and move home via Yorkshire Move Manager, which she set up in 2011.