Boards and Leadership  

The ultimate responsibility for embedding anti-racism in an organisation lies with those at the top: boards and senior leaders. Strong and proactive governance and assurance in needed to ensure ongoing and measurable progress.   


How does this link to Anti-racist Wales Action Plan? 

  • Housing associations need to comply with regulatory standards like effective governance and leadership arrangements including:  RS1 c) setting measurable and evidence-based commitments on EDI including anti-racism RS1 d) having a diverse board & RS3 b) delivering services which meet diverse needs on tenants 
  • All housing organisations need to have a delivery plan on anti-racism by December 2023 (standalone or embedded in EDI strategy/plan) 
  • Boards and senior leaders are expected to be trained on anti-racism by December 2023 
  • Housing organisations are asked to improve ethnic diversity of their boards and staff teams 


What you need to know 

  • Boards and senior leaders are responsible for delivery of all relevant commitments under ARWAP, click here to look at actions relevant to the sector you work in 
  • Ethnic diversity of RSL boards is slowly improving, diversity in local government is low and there currently is no data on the diversity of third sector support boards or leadership. To find out more on what we know about diversity amongst boards and senior leaders in housing go to our Recruitment and Diversity page. 


What you can do  

It is important for boards and senior leaders to have a robust assurance framework to provide boards with a clear view of how the organisation performs on anti-racism and how it progresses against its commitments. Here are key elements to consider:  

  • Empowerment: Join Pathway to Board to support ethnic minority individuals to learn more about housing boards and improve board diversity in Wales.
  • Knowledge: to truly start on the governance journey to anti-racism, it is crucial for leaders and boards to educate themselves on the pervasive nature of racism and what it means to be anti-racist. Book our Anti-racism for Boards and Senior Leaders course 
  • Regular reporting and oversight: senior leaders should provide regular evidence-based reports on organisation’s progress and impact against its anti-racism commitments/action plans based on clear metrics.  
  • Embedding anti-racism in board assurance: oversight of anti-racism plans is not enough to truly embed anti-racism. In order to have a clear view of organisation’s performance on anti-racism, boards should not only be aware of the state of play in the organisation in relation to each area of this toolkit but also be able to demonstrate how they proactively seek assurance in relation to race on an ongoing basis e.g: how is impact on ethnic minority people considered in key decisions, plans and functions? When senior leaders report on service performance, do those reports include information on how the service performs for ethnic minority tenants (e.g. via data or tenant feedback)?  
  • Accountability: organisations should have strong and clear accountability structures on anti-racism, including a senior lead and clear responsibilities for other senior leaders, managers and staff. This should form part of performance reviews/assessments.  
  • Transparency: organisations should publish and communicate their anti-racism plans, key data and publish information on progress against those at least annually.  
  • Board performance: the board should have effective measures in place to hold itself accountable for its performance on anti-racism, e.g. is anti-racism part of board reflections, appraisals, internal audits?  
  • Board culture: boards should consider how their own culture promotes anti-racism (e.g. inclusive behaviours, codes of conduct, board recruitment policies etc). If you have improved the racial diversity of the board, consider engaging with new board members to reflect on the culture of the board and performance of the organisation.  
  • Leadership Skills & Competencies: leading on anti-racism requires a specific set of skills. From dealing with discomfort express by colleagues, through sharing power to grit and determination. Check out resources in section below 
  • QED: Consider undertaking QED or QED Leaders accreditation with Tai Pawb. It provides a comprehensive framework for reviewing, improving and transforming the equality, diversity and inclusion impact of your organisation 

Pathway to Board

The Pathway to Board programme is a short programme that gives people the knowledge and skills to participate on any Board. The programme is specifically aimed at Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, supporting them to be Board ready.



We are looking for case studies on this topic. Can your organisation share what they have done to embed anti-racism in governance or leadership? Contact  

Verified by MonsterInsights