Diversity focus: Disabled representation at the top

Written by: Inside Housing
Published on: 24 Mar 2016

DisabilityInside Housing’s diversity survey found a very low representation of disabled people in senior housing leadership. Out of 523 executives, only seven were identified to us as disabled. On the board, representation is slightly higher - 60 out of 1,061 board members.

However, a full quarter of housing associations either did not know if their board included any disabled people or did not want to disclose it. A similar percentage did not know or disclose this data about their executive team. As for all the questions in the survey, some housing associations knew this information about part, but not all, of their leadership.

A survey of ‘high-flying’ disabled people commissioned by Lloyds Banking Group in 2010 found that three out of four who had the option to hide that they were disabled, did so. The report, Doing Seniority Differently, concluded: “Interviewees spoke eloquently of their fear that being open might affect getting a job in the first place, their treatment once at work and their chances of promotion. Those who eventually felt confident that they could be open without adverse consequences often found it liberating.”