Riverside has been named as one of the most inclusive employers in Britain by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.
The housing association, which owns or manages more than 55,000 properties across the UK, placed 26th on the 2019 Top 100 employers’ list, climbing 10 places from a position of 36 in last year’s index.
This is the sixth year that Riverside has featured in the Top 100 and this year also held its position as second in the housing sector.
John Glenton, Riverside’s Executive Director of Care and Support and Executive Sponsor of its LGBT staff group, said: “We’re delighted the progress we have made in the last year has been recognised by Stonewall once again and are thrilled to have continued to climb up the Stonewall Top 100 employers list.
“Our achievements over the last six years have helped us to continually improve our approach and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to LGBT colleagues and customers.
“It has also given us with the chance to showcase the positive steps we have made to become a more trans inclusive workplace over the last 18 months.
“We’re looking forward to building on this year’s success and will continue to strive to create a culture where customers and colleagues feel comfortable enough to be able to be their genuine selves in a truly inclusive workplace.”
This year’s Top 100 was the largest ever with 445 employers entering, demonstrating their commitment to LGBT workplace inclusion.
As part of the Top 100, Stonewall collects more than 92,000 anonymous responses from employees on their experience of Britain’s workplace culture and diversity. An overwhelming 93 per cent of non-LGBT employees who responded to the survey say they understand why their employer is committed to LGBT equality.
Last year, Stonewall released research that revealed more than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden they are LGBT at work and almost one in five LGBT employees (18%) have been the target of negative comments from colleagues because of their identity.
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s Executive Director said: “Riverside and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list are making a huge difference to workplaces, services and communities across the UK.
“LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to protect and support LGBT people. More than a third of LGBT staff (35%) still hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination; that has an impact on productivity, wellbeing and more and shows we still have lots to do.
“However, with organisations like Riverside displaying such a strong commitment to LGBT equality, we are one step closer to creating a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.”
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 LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their wider work in the community and on service provision.
Each organisation must demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they’ve engaged with LGBT communities.