Social housing provider Stonewater has been nationally recognised for its achievements in promoting inclusivity and diversity across the business.
The organisation was recently accredited as an ‘advanced employer’ in the Ethnicity Maturity Matrix. Stonewater is the only housing provider to achieve this Level 3 ranking, which places it alongside high profile companies such as Channel 4, Network Rail and Bank of England.
The matrix, set up by the Investing in Ethnicity campaign, helps organisations assess their progress towards ethnic inclusivity, share best practice and learn how they can improve in this area. Since its formation in 2015, Stonewater has worked hard to embed inclusivity and equality of opportunity in the workplace and its services. This has included colleague forums and initiatives to raise awareness of issues, celebrate diversity and tackle barriers faced by minority ethnic and other under-represented groups.
Stonewater’s black, Asian and minority ethnic networking group – 2GeTher – has now harnessed the Maturity Matrix’s key areas of assessment to create a framework to further improve equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the business.
Amit Patel, 2GeTher chair and Stonewater’s director of data, technology and programme delivery, said: “This is the first year we have applied for the accreditation, aiming for Level 2 ‘star employer’ status, so we are delighted to be awarded the higher rating. It is testament to our stand in championing racial equality, demonstrating how far we have come on our journey to ethnicity maturity. It also paves the way for working towards achieving the highest, Level 4, rating of exemplary employer.”
Nicholas Harris, chief executive at Stonewater, added: “I am pleased and proud that our work to promote equality and diversity has been recognised in this way. It reflects our commitment to creating a truly inclusive culture at Stonewater and our drive to constantly improve.”
The Maturity Matrix assessments look at six aspects of an organisation – leadership and commitment, policy and data, culture and inclusion, network groups, employee life cycle and external impact. Now in its fourth year, the matrix is backed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Governance and Inclusive Leadership. Its aim is to realise a more equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.