Awards recognise women championing inclusion across social housing

A Bath-based equality and diversity specialist for social housing provider Stonewater has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of her major contribution to improving equality and social justice across the housing sector.

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This is the seventh year of the Women in Housing Awards, which recognise the work and achievements of women like Cordelia Johnney, who is up for Inclusion Champion.

Nominated for the award by her fellow colleagues, Cordelia is seen as an inspirational member of the Stonewater team. Before joining in 2013, Cordelia worked for 13 years as an equality, diversity and community liaison role at Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Since then, she has developed a number of initiatives for Stonewater that promote and build an inclusive culture across the entire organisation and to its customers. This includes creating an equality impact assessment toolkit to ensure that colleagues are considering equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) when policy and decisions are made.

Cordelia has achieved all of this whilst battling an ongoing debilitating form of Sickle Cell Disease that has left her with a severe disability, which has never dented her passion in her pursuit of EDI.

Nicholas Harris, chief executive of Stonewater, said: “Cordelia has never been afraid to challenge our organisation to step out of its comfort zone and push towards an even greater future. She has made a significant impact at Stonewater and really focused on gender parity across the business, so we can make sure we have a truly inclusive culture.

“Being shortlisted for a Women in Housing Award is more than well-deserved considering the achievements she has modestly collected, whilst improving equality and diversity across organisations like ours. I’m pleased that her tremendous hard work has been recognised beyond the walls of Stonewater and I wish her the best of luck at the awards ceremony later this year.”

Two other Stonewater colleagues have been shortlisted for a Women in Housing award, with Sue Shirt, Executive Director of Customer Experience, nominated for the Woman of the Year: Tenant/Customer Focus award, and Bristol-based Rosie Norman, Allocation Team Leader, contending for Young Achiever of the Year.

Stonewater has also been shortlisted in the Improving the Lives of Women or Communities (large) award category for its South Asian Women’s Refuge (SAWR) in Bedfordshire, which supports South Asian women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 10 October at the Emirates, Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester.