What Inclusion & Belonging mean to us
25 September 2023
This National Inclusion Week we look at the ways we’re driving real change through our Inclusion and Belonging schemes.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion isn’t new, and it’s need grows greater each day. As part of our ambition to be the UK’s leading Social Enterprise and support our Communities to thrive, we don’t shy away from how important ED&I is for us to succeed.
But how can companies, and sectors, deliver this change, and at pace, without our efforts being seen as merely surface-level attempts to create a facade of diversity without addressing the underlying issues that support us in making real change?
Recent research from the National Housing Federation showed that as a sector we’re making progress, but that progress is slow and we’re still not 100% reflective of our Customers.
At Places for People, we are genuinely promoting inclusive Communities where everyone belongs. It’s one of our People Promises - One Community. We won’t fall into the trap of diversity washing - the act of making superficial gestures towards ED&I without taking the meaningful steps to address the underlying issues. This may mean it takes us slightly longer but we’re building a diverse and inclusive culture for a better, fairer, and sustainable future. Our actions will make sure we can be confident in the impact our progress is making.
So, what do we believe and what actions have we taken in the past twelve months to make a difference?
1. We’ve amplified our previous work around ED&I to embed it into our culture as a business. Our Communities represent the diversity of the UK and we strive to reflect that in the support we offer. We also know that our differences are what makes our Communities thrive and therefore we’re committed to listen and make real change. We’ve done this through partnering with experts in their field. Some of our latest partnerships include:
- HouseProud - the network group for LGBT+ people working in social housing. We’re proud to be partnering with HouseProud to support our Customers to be themselves within their own Communities. We’re setting up Customer Focus Groups to give us on-the-ground insights to help us make positive changes and give our Customers a voice in the design and delivery of our services across the country.
- The Armed Forces Covenant - a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the Communities, economy and society they serve with their lives. We’re uniquely placed to support people through employment, homes, leisure due to the breadth of our organisation.
- We are a Neurodivergent and Disability Confident Employer – we recognise the skills that everyone can bring to an organisation and as part of our commitment to tackling the national skills crisis we look to cross-promote roles to anyone who applies.
2. As part of our Gender Pay Gap Action Plan we are taking proactive steps that include positive action schemes such as the Women into Construction programme, company-wide Inclusion and Belonging Groups. Listening to our People who work with our Customers every day.
3. We listen and commit to acting on feedback. Every piece of feedback we receive, in any form, we listen, digest and act on.
4. Finally, we’re holding ourselves to account and will take action where needed.
True diversity means we will continuously adapt to evolving issues to ensure our Communities continue to thrive into the future.