Social landlord makes top ten of UK's most gay-friendly employers
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A London social landlord has made the top ten of the UK's most gay-friendly employers list.
Metropolitan came in at number 10 out of 375 employers on Stonewall's Index, with the accolade adding to the recogition of its lesbian, gay and bisexual staff group, Metro, as a 'Star Performer Network' earlier this year.
Metropolitan's chief executive, Brian Johnson (pictured), said: "Being placed in the top 10 of Stonewall’s Index for two consecutive years is a marvellous achievement for Metropolitan, particularly given the ever tougher criteria and intense competition from over 350 employers. It demonstrates our commitment to diversity and fairness, both in the workplace and the way that we deliver our services, in turn helping us to recruit the best staff regardless of their background.”
The housing association's approach to equality and diversity is set out in its single equality scheme entitled ‘All together Different’, which is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Housing as best practice in the sector.
The organisation also runs what is believed to be the only service of its kind in Europe for gay and bisexual men escaping domestic violence and abuse.
Metro has been singled out by Stonewall for its positive impact on gay staff and for setting a standard across the housing sector.
Metro chair Pamela Sinnott said: "We are absolutely delighted to be recognised by Stonewall as a Star Performing Network. This really recognises the energy and commitment to equality and diversity, not only from our staff group members, but within Metropolitan as a whole. We can see where we have made a difference and now we are advising other organisations in establishing their own networks."
Metopolitan, which manages over 36,000 homes across England, was one of five housing providers to make the top 100 of the Index. The full top ten was:
3 The Co-operative
4 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
5 Home Office
6 Ernst & Young
9 Simmons & Simmons
Stonewall's Index has been running since 2005 and recognises employers that make a positive commitment to developing an inclusive and welcoming workplace for LGB staff.
Companies are judged on criteria such as their employment and recruitment policies, support for employee network groups, leadership on diversity issues, supply chain management, communication, services to LGB customers, and wider engagement with the gay community.
Housing provider Gentoo managed to make number two in Stonewall's Index. Julie Kelly, assistant chief executive of Gentoo Group, said: "This is a fantastic result for Gentoo. It is immensely important to us that we value difference in our staff. One of our values is ‘Give us all you’ve got’ and to do this you need to be comfortable being yourself.
"We aim to make a real difference to the way people live their lives and if our staff are able to bring their whole selves to work and live authentic relationships, they can give us 100%. This is not only a great result for us as a Group, but also great news for our customers. Our result sends a clear message to our staff and customers and we are proud to be leading the way."
Northwards Housing also made the top 100. Tara Kelly, equality and community engagement officer at Northwards Housing, said: “We are really proud to be included in the top 100. It shows how hard we’ve worked to make sure that Northwards is an inclusive place for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
"We want our staff to feel confident to be themselves and we’re proud to be able to support all our employees to develop and reach their potential. We’re not just paying lip-service either – we celebrate diversity because it makes our organisation stronger."
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: "Every employer in the Top 100 has performed impressively. These results are significant as it’s just 10 years since we won vital legal protections for gay people in the workplace.
"Britain's 1.7 million gay staff and 150,000 gay university students can now confidently use the index to select a welcoming employer, or look further, safe in the knowledge that they are protected from discrimination."