UKAA launch new EDI Committee

The EDI committee aims to represent communities that the Build to Rent sector is developing and connect with people from residents to local authorities.

Stephanie Smith, Chair of the UKAA EDI Committee | BTR News
Stephanie Smith, Chair of the UKAA EDI Committee.

The UK Apartment Association (UKAA) has announced the launch of its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. Members for the committee will be drawn from a diverse range of businesses in the urban and suburban Build to Rent sector.

Designed to be representative at all levels, submissions for membership were invited from anyone who was personally inspired to contribute to EDI. A blind submission process was used to assure equal representation, with each application judged on their passion for EDI, standout ideas and proactive stance.

“Equality, diversity, and inclusion stretch across all that the Build to Rent sector does – the way we invest, how we design buildings and homes, our social impact on neighbourhoods, how we hire and build out career development opportunities and how we give back to the community every day. That’s why it was important for UKAA to create a distinct working group to represent the communities for which we are developing and working.”

Stephanie Smith, Director of Operations and Asset Management, Hubbl, Chair – EDI Committee, UKAA

In addition to Chair Stephanie Smith and Vice Chair Kevin Redman, the UKAA EDI Committee includes members from Quintain, Bidwells, Greystar, Womble Bond Dickinson, the University of Westminster and Livewire.

The ten-person committee will be engaging with other UKAA working groups to find out how it can assist and support them. The committee has already gathered feedback from members on their views of EDI and, moving forward, it will will focus on drafting the 2024 UKAA Manifesto, which is due for publication shortly.

The first of the committee’s monthly meetings was held in December 2023, but its formation can be traced back to the UKAA/Swift Bunny Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Benchmarking Snapshot that took place in spring 2022. An expanded follow up survey took place in January 2023, examining 15 areas of EDI within the Build to Rent sector. EDI was also a core objective of the 2023 UKAA Manifesto.

“The UKAA EDI Committee will play an active role in defining what EDI is and what it means within the urban and suburban Build to Rent sector. This goes beyond the soft and fluffy – the committee will be taking EDI into commercial board rooms, understanding the needs of local communities, examining companies’ impact, and working with local authorities. It’s going to be a significant force for the advancement of EDI issues across all aspects of Build to Rent.”

Brendan Geraghty, CEO, UKAA

Stephanie will be furthering the inclusion agenda by hosting the UKAA International Women’s Day Webinar on 8 March 2024. The free webinar will take place between 11am to 12pm and will focus on inspiring inclusion in the living sector – featuring a women only expert panel that will reflect on how to create an equitable environment within the living sector.