Riverside named UK’s top LGBT-friendly housing organisation
Riverside has been named the top housing organisation in Britain for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality by LGBT rights charity Stonewall.
The housing association, which owns and manages more than 75,000 properties across the UK, placed 12th in Stonewall’s 2022 Top 100 Employers List, climbing an impressive 45 places from their previous position of 57 in 2020.
Stonewall’s Top 100 is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.
Organisations are ranked by a set of standardised criteria, which includes ensuring employment policies are inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people, as well as supporting and celebrating identities at work.
This is the eighth year that Riverside has featured in the league table, achieving its highest ranking since first entering in 2014 and receiving Stonewall’s Gold Employer award.
Riverside has repeatedly been recognised as one of the best LGBT-friendly housing organisations in the North West over the years, but 2022 sees the provider topping the charts as the country’s most inclusive employer in the sector.
According to Stonewall’s research, in Britain more than a third of LGBTQIA+ staff (35%) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18%) have been the target of negative comments because of their identity.
John Glenton, Riverside’s executive director of care and support and executive sponsor of its LGBT staff group, said: “We’re absolutely overjoyed to have been named Britain’s most LGBT-friendly employer within the housing sector this year.
“At Riverside, it’s important to us that we’re continuously maintaining a strong culture of inclusion for our customers and colleagues to feel comfortable to be themselves, which is why I’m thrilled and proud that, not only have we been recognised by Stonewall once again, but that our higher position and Gold Employer award demonstrate the fantastic progress we have made in the past two years to ensure we’re providing a safer, more accepting and encouraging environment.
“We know from research that when colleagues feel they can be their authentic selves in the workplace, their engagement with the organisation and our customers is likely to be higher, and they’re more likely to perform better. Therefore, embracing and celebrating diversity while supporting our colleagues, enables us to deliver our best results.
“With over 400 entries submitted to the 2022 Index across the public, private and third sectors, this Top 100 accolade is testament to Riverside’s commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.”
Riverside’s LGBT colleague group, Spectrum, also received Stonewall’s ‘Highly Commended Network Group’ award for its outstanding work in supporting colleagues.
Liz Ward, director of programmes at Stonewall, added: “We’re delighted for Riverside whose incredible work towards LGBTQ+ inclusion this year has seen them land at 12th place in the Top 100. Every employer has a duty to make sure that their LGBTQ+ staff are free from discrimination at work, and our Top 100 list, alongside our Workplace Equality Index helps organisations reflect on their inclusion journey and celebrate best practice.
“We spend much of our time at work, and our career can be a huge part of how we define ourselves. That’s why it’s vital that every single lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person feels like they can be themselves in their workplace.”