Sunderland housing firm near the top of Stonewall best employers list

Louise Bassett, executive director (Corporate Services) at Gentoo and Lucy Malarkey, Deputy Director (Operations) also of Gentoo.
Louise Bassett, executive director (Corporate Services) at Gentoo and Lucy Malarkey, Deputy Director (Operations) also of Gentoo.

Sunderland housing association Gentoo has made third place on Stonewall’s top employers LGBT list.

The company is the only housing association to make it into the top 10 and one of only five housing associations to be listed in Stonewall’s list of top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers for 2018.

National Assembly for Wales was awarded first place in the list, with Pinsent Masons LLP second.

A total of 20 other North East-based organisations also made the list, including the North East Ambulance Service, which came 46th, and Newcastle City Council, which placed 9th.

The Stonewall Top 100 Employers are the best performing employers on Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2018, an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.

More than 430 employers submitted entries to the 2018 index, across the public, private and third sectors.

Gentoo has also been named as one of Stonewall’s Top Trans Inclusive Employers, by going above and beyond other organisations to ensure trans and non-binary colleagues feel included in the workplace.

Every organisation in Stonewall’s Top 100 had to demonstrate a tangible commitment to trans inclusion to secure a place on the list.

Lucy Malarkey, deputy director at Gentoo, said: “We are delighted to be placed third in the Workplace Equality Index (WEI) and be recognised as a top trans employer.

“To be the only housing association listed in the top 10 is a great achievement.

“Taking part in the WEI is invaluable, as this helps us to ensure we continually improve our ongoing commitment to our LGBT staff and customers.”

“It has also provided us with the opportunity to demonstrate the positive trans inclusive work we have been undertaking with our staff and in the local community.”

Darren Towers, executive director at Stonewall, said: “Gentoo and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list have done a fantastic job.

“Taking part in our Index shows real commitment to understanding and advancing LGBT equality.”