We know organisations within the sector are at different stages in their continued commitment to creating both a more diverse workforce and leaders that are as diverse as the communities they serve. We need to do more for underrepresented groups in our recruitment processes; and in helping to build leadership capacity at all levels.

We believe it is our role, as a community of Housing professionals, to continue to support diversity within the sector’s workforce through skills and leadership development. Programmes like LeadershipNOW! will help to support this momentum.

LeadershipNOW! has been created as a partnership between GatenbySanderson,  the UK’s leading people intelligence business advising public services across the UK, and UNIFY, a staff network of ethnically diverse leaders in the housing sector. The co-created elements have been designed from feedback from ethnically diverse groups at all levels in the sector to support current leaders and leaders of the future. There is something for everyone.

The programme brings together the opportunity for participants to explore career progression and leadership development through a blend of workshops, coaching, leadership profiling and career conversations.

LeadershipNOW! is intended to ensure there is greater promotion and succession of ethnically diverse leaders across the housing sector. The programme will also benefit organisations and the sector by strengthening the perception of their commitment to attracting and building future diverse talent.

It’s already creating impact amongst the three cohorts and pilot group who have completed the programme:


of participants applied for a new role


of participants received a promotion and/or pay rise since completing the programme


of participants received a promotion as a direct result of the programme support


of participants felt their confidence levels increased as a direct impact of the programme

What does the LeadershipNOW! programme involve?

The programme, certified by the CPD Certification Service, involves a series of bespoke workshops, one-to-one coaching, peer conversations and personality profiling spread across eight months. 

Who is the programme for?

We are focused on making the change the social housing sector is striving for and improving career opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff at all levels. Our aim is to support developing leaders and highlight opportunities for career progression across the social housing sector. Our programme creates a safe space to support current and future ethnically diverse leaders to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

The programme offers a range of workshops and sessions aimed at all current and aspiring leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds including those with no leadership experience. The different elements of the programme have been designed to appeal to all levels, providing insight in different ways depending on your level and experience. 

What’s included in the programme?

The programme includes:

  • 6 x workshops delivered by Leadership and Sector experts
  • 1:1 Executive Coaching
  • 1:1 Development Discussions with Expert Psychologists and Executive Search Recruitment specialists
  • Group Coaching Sessions (max 6 participants per group)
  • Guest speakers and alumni
  • Ongoing support via UNIFY membership and job search support from GatenbySanderson

Key dates

LeadershipNOW! programme runs from November through to June:

  • November: Programme launch & Career Evaluation Discussion
  • December: Leadership Profiling
  • January: Programme Development Report
  • February: Workshops 1 & 2
  • March: Workshops 3 & 4 and 1:1 Executive Coaching
  • April: Workshop 5, Group Coaching and 1:1 Executive Coaching
  • May: Workshop 6 and Group Coaching
  • June: Programme Close Event & Graduation

Download the programme timetable here.


Benefits of the programme: participants

Following the completion of the LeadershipNOW! programme you will:

  • Have a greater understanding of the recruitment process, how to market yourself and your profile, as well as how create impactful job applications
  • Develop more confidence to apply for new roles and take on more responsibility
  • Have a clear idea of what leadership means, to you and others
  • Understand your unique strengths and growth areas allowing you to maximise your leadership potential
  • Understand your own leadership purpose and how to use your unique leadership skills to influence, motivate, inspire and challenge others
  • Better understand the requirements and challenges ahead for leaders within the housing sector
  • Increase your network of like-minded peers, leadership experts and recruiters who can provide continued advice and support to you throughout your career.

Benefits of the programme: employers

By supporting your staff through the LeadershipNOW! programme you will:

  • Access the best insight & environment in which leaders from underrepresented groups from your organisation can thrive
  • Inspire leaders from underrepresented groups to progress into more senior roles to reflect the communities you serve
  • Take advantage of the subsidised programme
  • Help realise the objectives of the G15 pledge on diversity
  • Unlock previously untapped creativity and productivity
  • Improve support and opportunities for ethnically diverse leaders
  • Opportunity to identify diverse leadership pipelines
  • Participants may wish to share their personal development profiles with line managers, enabling further understanding around leadership style and aspirations
  • We share common themes and barriers from the data and insight we gather when profiling participants to support and develop your future leaders.

The LeadershipNOW! Programme is certified by the CPD Certification Service.

This means you will receive 24 CPD points upon successful completion.

Programme overview

Successful leaders need clear insight into their core competencies, capabilities and their personal strengths and potential growth areas. Our tailormade leadership interventions are built on research from our ‘Future Leaders in Housing workshops’, conversations with CEOs and Chairs across the social housing sector, and feedback from previous participants. For new, aspiring and existing leaders, these modules will aid personal and professional development. 

Details of each workshop and one to one element of the programme are below. You can also download the timetable overview.


The Lifecycle of a Recruitment Process

Our aim in this workshop is to give you a complete, unbiased view on the recruitment process, sharing some of the lessons that we have learnt from working with a diverse range of candidates across multiple disciplines; some of the things that have really worked, and equally some of those that have had the opposite effect. We will focus on advice of how to move from CV submission, to a preliminary interview to final panel.

Assessment Methods

Many recruitment processes today involve some form of assessment, whether that be psychometric tests and personality questionnaires, to engagement exercises, role plays and assessment centres.  In this workshop, we will walk through some of the different assessment methods that you will likely come across during a recruitment process, explaining why they might be used, what they are testing for and offering some hints and tips on how best to prepare and complete them.  In addition, we will cover how best to approach them in a ‘virtual’ environment.

CV and Supporting Statement

This workshop will break down some of the perceived barriers that exist to making a successful application. Working with executive search organisations can create a sense of mystery for some candidates, and part of our objective in this workshop is to break down some of this mystique and give further insight as to how you can ‘use’ search consultants to put yourself in the best possible position to make the strongest application.

Creating an Online Presence

This is about maximising your online presence and using all the online tools available to expand your networks and opportunities available in the market. This session will deliver basic LinkedIn coaching, how to amplify your online job search and how best to use your online presence to maximise your future opportunities.

Leadership Skills: 2 x workshops:

There will be two leadership skills workshops focusing on Leading Yourself and Leading Others both of which will require some pre-work to prepare for them (this will help you get the most from the session). Both workshops will also be interactive with lots of opportunity for discussion and questions with the facilitators and other group members.

1. Leading Yourself

This workshop will focus on helping you understand your own personal leadership purpose and your leadership values. In addition we will highlight different leadership styles, help you to understand your default style and discuss the importance of leadership agility.

2. Leading Others

In this workshop we will discuss the importance of creating psychological safety and trust as a leader and the impact it has on performance. Highlighting theories underpinned by neuroscience, we’ll explore how good leaders motivate and influence their team to deliver more and better results. We’ll also offer some practical advice on how to lead remote and hybrid teams, and pitfalls to watch out for.

One-to-One Conversations

Individual Career Conversations and Career Strategy Discussions

All participants will take part in a one-to-one career conversation with a GatenbySanderson search consultant at the start of the programme.  The aim of this session is to provide you with guidance and advice on the job market and recruitment process, how best to apply for a role and to discuss your career aspirations. Career conversations and putting together a career strategy can empower you by helping them make informed decisions about your trajectory and about career goals and choices.

Our career consultants will also be on hand throughout the programme to offer advice and guidance through our drop in sessions scheduled at various intervals.

Personal Leadership Profiling Discussions

Psychometric assessments can support you in raising your self-awareness, and helping you better understand your strengths and potential growth areas that you may want to place greater focus on to make the best impact in role and to support your development planning process.

All participants will have a Personal Leadership Profiling Discussion that includes completing two personality questionnaires. We use personality questionnaires to objectively assess your behaviour, style and attitudes in relation to different aspects of your working life as a leader. Questions will cover behavioural style in the areas of thought, influence, adaptability and delivery. Your responses are compared against those of senior managers to give a profile of your personal preferences and motivations. Your results will help us to predict how you are likely to behave in the four behavioural areas.  

In the one-to-one profiling session, conducted with a behavioural expert, you will explore the areas of your personality profile which are of particular interest to you, discussing how to continue to leverage your strengths as well as any development themes and objectives to focus on. The results will tie into the themes from your Career Conversation, including your current role and aspirations, and look at what they mean to you in practice.  We can also identify which dimensions are related to the key competencies and critical success factors for a role you might be interested in.

Development Report

We will also provide a detailed development report combining the outcomes from the Career Conversation and Personal Leadership Profiling Discussion which you can take with you through the programme. As part of the report, we will also benchmark your results again GatenbySanderson’s (GS) unique ‘Altitude Leadership Framework’, a behavioural model based purely on research into what makes a successful public sector leader. It allows us to benchmark your profile against other leaders in the social housing sector and more broadly across the public sector.


All participants will have access to a fully trained and qualified Executive Coach with vast experience in developing leaders within the housing sector.

During two 1:1 coaching sessions and two group coaching sessions, you will be able to develop your strengths and growth areas through in-depth, focused and tailored discussions with your coach in your 1:1, and with your peers from the programme in your group sessions, facilitated by your coach.


of participants agreed that the facilitators were engaging and knowledgeable about their subject matter.


of participants would highly recommend the programme


of participants felt the programme supported their personal or professional development

How to apply

Subsidised Rates

The majority of places on the programme are financially supported by the organisation participants work for.

Fees for the LeadershipNOW! programme will be at a highly subsidised rate.

  • For UNIFY members the rate per participant is £2,500 + VAT.
  • Non UNIFY members can access the programme for £3,250 + VAT.

We run on a first-come first-served basis.

For further information on the programme or to register your organisation’s interest in becoming a UNIFY member please contact us.

Application process

The application process for Cohort 4 (2023-2024) will open in September and close early October.

Once applications open, we will ask you to submit a current CV and supporting statement detailing your role and why the programme will support you.