Each year, Stonewall (Britain’s leading employers’ forum for equality, diversity and inclusion) publish their Workplace Equality Index (WEI). It judges how well employers are doing in creating inclusive surroundings for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) staff.
Hanover has once again taken part in the WEI, to see how we fare as an organisation that progresses LGBT rights and promotes inclusivity for all. This year we’re rightly proud to have risen 62 places to now be 242nd on the index.
More than 100 Hanover staff took part in the WEI survey, in a year which saw more than 93,000 employees from a range of sectors take part. For the first time, Stonewall’s rankings this year also scored employers on trans inclusivity.
This great result is a clear sign that we value all staff and the contribution they make. It also confirms that we’re providing an inclusive workplace, which reflects our aim to make sure our estates are welcoming to all. As an employer we’re committed to attracting a wide range of people who bring a mix of experience to the organisation.
As a housing provider for older people, we’re well aware of the prejudice that our LGBT customers can face. That is why we are a proud member of Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme and why we regularly take part in events like London Pride.
Some of the initiatives which Hanover has undertaken to improve equality include:
- The Rainbow Network offers support to LGBT staff and increases understanding across Hanover of the challenges they face
- The Rainbow Network has paved the way for other networks, including the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) group and the disabled group
- We’re an active member of HouseProud’s LGBT network, co-sponsoring them at London Pride in 2017
- We’ve part-funded research into expectations of LGBT people living in social housing. A group of Hanover residents formed a focus group for the research, named Proactive
- We’ve introduced a policy on recruiting transgender staff and produced a range of articles raising awareness of LGBT issues
Commenting on the 2018 index, Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall said:
‘Thank you to all the organisations that took part. This year has been our first fully trans inclusive Index. Your commitment to LGBT equality, and your willingness to Come Out For LGBT, is inspiring. By working together, we can ensure that all LGBT people are accepted without exception.’
Obviously, we want to continue to make great strides on inclusivity. It’s our ambition to get into the top 100 on the WEI over the next few years. Our equality and diversity strategy is at the heart of this, and is helping staff to change their working practices in a positive way.