Following the launch of its new LGBT+ networking group in June 2020, Thirteen has joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, the UK’s leading employers’ programme for ensuring all LGBT staff, customers, clients and service-users are accepted without exception.

The housing organisation launched its new networking group to educate, tackle prejudice and raise awareness amongst colleagues and customers in relation to LGBT+, as well as to improve its colleague experience and the services it provides to customers.

By joining the Diversity Champions programme, Thirteen will receive tailored support and a framework to help create a workplace where LGBT colleagues can thrive, with progress measured, tracked and celebrated as it works towards becoming fully inclusive.

Craig Taylor, managing director of Thirteen Homes, is Thirteen’s executive sponsor for the organisation’s LGBT+ network. He said: “We’re working very hard to make sure that we embed LGBT+ inclusion into our culture here at Thirteen.

“By signing up to Stonewall’s prestigious Diversity Champions programme we’re making a real commitment to creating an inclusive workplace where we can recruit and retain a talented workforce; where everyone is performing at their best; and where we’re meeting the varied needs of all of our customers.”

Phillippa Scrafton, Programmes Officer, Stonewall UK said: “LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to proudly support LGBT staff and customers. We are thrilled that Thirteen has joined our Diversity Champions programme to demonstrate its commitment to championing lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality.

“People perform better when they can be themselves, so we’re excited to work with Thirteen to support its LGBT inclusion activities and ensure all its staff can be accepted without exception.’

Thirteen will also strive to take a place in the Workplace Equality Index, a definitive benchmarking tool from Stonewall that assesses an organisation’s work on LGBT inclusion.

Craig continues: “Colleagues having a great day at work is hugely important to Thirteen and we can only succeed if we’re all working in an environment where we’re comfortable enough to be our true selves. We’re looking forward to working with Stonewall to help us achieve that.”