HouseProud: out and about at the Pride in London Parade
27 June 2016
Nine housing associations came together on Saturday at the Pride in London Parade to celebrate the diversity of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff and customers.
Together under the banner of HouseProud, the network for LGBT staff in social housing, the associations shared an open top double decker bus. Around 300 employees, residents, family and friends walked behind, handing out balloons and rainbow-coloured wristbands to the Londoners, tourists and revellers who had lined the parade route.
The HouseProud participants taking part came from Affinity Sutton Group, Circle Housing, Genesis, L&Q, Metropolitan, Notting Hill Housing, Peabody, Tower Hamlets Homes and Hanover.
Along with raising awareness of LGBT issues, the nine associations demonstrated their commitment to the housing sector’s support for staff and customers to have the freedom to be themselves.
Rona Nicholson, Hanover’s Deputy Chief Executive and Chair of the Home and Communities Agency (HCA) Equality and Diversity Advisory Group, said: ‘We are proud to support HouseProud at London Pride – it’s great to see the sector so well represented by both LGBT colleagues and LGBT allies.
‘As a housing provider for older people, Hanover is only too well aware of the prejudice that our customers can face and the discrimination that still exists towards the LGBT community. We strive to ensure that both customers and staff can live and work with no filter, creating vibrant and diverse workplaces and communities.’
HouseProud, which formed in 2014, aims to attract and support a more diverse workforce into housing, and ensure best practice is in place for LGBT customers and service users.
Additional supporting statements
Affinity Sutton Group
Keith Exford CBE, Group Chief Executive:
‘Affinity Sutton is a proud supporter of HouseProud. Pride reinforces our public commitment to diversity and will, I hope, give confidence to our residents and colleagues to overcome any fears they may have of possible harassment and discrimination. I am incredibly proud of my LGBT colleagues and the contribution that they make every day to the work of Affinity Sutton in helping people put down roots.’
Mark Rogers, Chief Executive:
‘We work hard to support all of our customers’ needs and strive to build inclusive and vibrant communities. It is important for an organisation’s success and wellbeing to have diversity and inclusion embedded into its DNA – earlier this year we were ranked in the top 25 most LGBT-friendly employers in the UK by Stonewall, as a result of our ongoing work to make sure our staff feels that they have the freedom to be themselves at work. We want to attract the very best talent to our organisation and attending Pride is one of the ways we go about encouraging applications and building our reputation as an employer of choice.’
Neil Hadden, Chief Executive Officer:
‘We are pleased to support Pride 2016 and are really delighted that HouseProud has been able to gather such a strong housing presence on the day itself. The diversity of our society is our strength and that is why hate will always lose. Pride makes that clear.’
Brian Johnson, Chief Executive Officer:
‘We are proud to be at the head of such a diverse and inclusive organisation, and being ranked eighth in the Stonewall top 100 made me even prouder. It is great to walk around our offices and see that people are free and comfortable to themselves at work, it creates a real buzz and energy. Inclusion and diversity is deeply embedded at Metropolitan, and I look forward to my regular meetings with all the staff group Chairs.’
David Montague, Group Chief Executive:
‘L&Q is delighted to be at Pride in London again. We are here because we believe in recognising and celebrating the diversity of our residents and our staff. What’s more, this year, for the first time, we are walking with other housing providers. Together, we are sending a clear message about what is important to us, both as employers and landlords.’
Notting Hill Housing
Kate Davies, Chief Executive:
‘I am thrilled that Notting Hill Housing has joined our peers from across the sector at this year’s annual Pride in London parade and celebrations. At the heart of everything we do at Notting Hill is a belief and commitment to creating genuinely inclusive workplaces and communities, where everyone can be themselves.’
Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive:
‘I am delighted that Peabody have been part of the London Pride parade and that so many of my colleagues from across our organisation will be there walking as part of HouseProud. As housing providers we stand together in support of the LGBT community across the world. Peabody has been creating opportunities for people in London since 1862. We now have over 80,000 residents living in our homes from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds. It is our aim to ensure that each and every one of our residents feels respected and supported.’
Tower Hamlets Homes
Susmita Sen, Chief Executive:
‘Our vision at Tower Hamlets Homes as both a landlord and employer is to provide services that are accessible, inclusive and fair – for both residents and staff. In fact equality and diversity are at the forefront of everything we do. So we were thrilled to be ranked fifth in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, demonstrating our commitment to LGBT equality. We’re proud of our staff and couldn’t be happier to support London Pride.’