As our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Sam promotes best practice for minority groups within Orbit and works to strengthen our relationships with customers from diverse backgrounds. This includes assessing the needs of different communities in our workplace, developing, and implementing anti-discriminatory and inclusive policies, preparing and delivering employee training and workshops on EDI, and dealing with any internal conflict and discrimination.
Here, Sam reflects on what a typical day in his EDI role involves…
Like most mornings I start my day off with an early walk before work to get some fresh air. Once back, I log on to my laptop and catch-up with the previous day’s emails and any unfinished tasks.
I spend time identifying and planning items for the day and ensuring all actions for upcoming meetings have been completed.
I also spend time reading up on any reports that have been sent over to me to review.
I have a meeting with our Customer Engagement team to help identify new ways of connecting with our customers. This is followed by some creative blue sky thinking with our Communications team, exploring how we can best communicate with our customers and colleagues.
I am a Healthy Mind First Aider (HMFA), and alongside my day-to-day role, I take this responsibility seriously and always make sure I am available to take calls from employees who may be struggling with their mental he.
I find this part of my role incredibly fulfilling as it’s an opportunity to help and support fellow colleagues who may be going through issues they don’t fully understand. The pandemic has seen an increase in the calls we receive, mainly because of uncertainties around lockdowns and social isolation. The work we do as HMFAs is an important part of my day and it’s something I’m extremely proud of.
Emails can easily pile up when away from the desk or on a call, so I make a point of going through emails and prioritising them.
I have a scheduled chat with other EDI officers and managers from other housing associations to find out how we can improve our approach. By speaking to likeminded people and listening to their stories and their processes, I gain an insight into how we can better our services.
I have weekly catchups with different people and departments within Orbit as I feel it’s vital we have a cohesive approach to EDI. These catchups consist of ensuring the golden thread of the EDI agenda and objectives are reflected throughout the organisation.
It’s important that we understand the responsibility of cultural change, not only with our colleagues, but also our customers and our partners. EDI isn’t something we’re going to deliver overnight, but even the smallest of steps in the right direction get us closer to a more inclusive and diverse Orbit for everyone.
Before logging off I read through my emails and check my diary for the day ahead.
Even after I have logged off, I always make myself available for emergencies, and of course for HMFA calls.
We’re committed to building an inclusive and diverse place to work and providing thriving communities which are fair and equal to all. I'm passionate about my EDI Officer role and I find it incredibly rewarding. I am proud that I can help people in our communities and show them our commitment to EDI. We have recently launched our Customer Promise and I am pleased that in my role I can help bring this to life each and every day, ensuring I am helping our customers and their communities thrive.
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