Circle Housing and eight other housing associations came together on Saturday (25thJune) at the Pride festival in London to celebrate the diversity of its 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 Circle Housing, Affinity Sutton Group, Genesis, Hanover, L&Q, Metropolitan, Notting Hill Housing, Peabody and Tower Hamlets Homes.
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.
Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Circle Housing commented:
“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.”
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.