Leadership 2025 – The CEO Perspective

A year in as Gateway Housing’s CEO and I can afford just a moment to look back at what’s been achieved.


We’ve just had our regulatory inspection results through Gateway’s first IDA and are proud of our G1 V1 ratings.

Our latest staff satisfaction score, tested at the end of March 2019, is at 87% and we’re excited to see new homes coming out of the ground.

We’re stepping up the pace on performance and there’s a good energy down at Mile End.

One of the litmus tests of an organisation is through the tug on the line of recruitment and where we’ve needed to go out to the market for senior and board level positions this year, we’ve been delighted by the diversity, calibre and experience of the applicants.

And I’m convinced that diversity is aligned to good business outcomes.

McKinsey found recently that companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits.

Diverse teams who had an inclusive approach to decision making have also been found to make better decisions.

There’s a wealth of available research to back this up but essentially, diversity is about wanting the business to be the best it can possibly be.

At Gateway this means aspirational targets to ensure our Board and Committees are diverse in perpetuity.

It means collaborative decision making and it means people from all backgrounds being able to see themselves eventually running this or another organisation without battling structural inequality.

As a new CEO, building a brilliant top team, has been extremely rewarding, and is a huge step to performance improvement.

I’m proud that our Executive Team is diverse; energetic and utterly committed to improving services.

Without a massive training budget, it’s crucial we bring any learning back to the centre so everyone can benefit.

Two of our Executives are on high octane programmes: Leadership 2025 and Future of London’s Leaders Plus.

This has been fantastic for the individuals themselves and an added benefit to the entire hungry-to-learn team.

As a Steering Group member of Leadership 2025 and a demanding CEO it’s satisfying to see a very definite return on investment through the programmes we support.

Leadership 2025 was always set up to be a programme with a high entry bar supporting already talented and senior individuals to lead.

In addition to the leadership programme; a series of technical masterclasses and mentoring from sector big hitters adds the final flourish.

As we prepare to recruit the third cohort of Leadership 2025; it’s great to see the previous two gaining more profile through print and platform.

Conference panels are still overwhelmingly white and the trade press, through auditing their own pages, have admitted there’s much more to do on diversity.

As a sector we have a problem.

Only 4.5% of CEOs or Executives are BAME.

This is risky for our future based on the McKinsey statistics and rubbish for our reputation as social enterprises.

As a new CEO I’m taking nothing for granted and if poor decisions are made through groupthink and monoculture then give me diversity.

And thanks to programmes such as Leadership 2025 we’re all that bit more reflective and ambitious.

Here’s to a big year for Gateway and a big year for Leadership 2025.