Equality & diversity
Your Views Driving Fairness!
The homes in which we live are fundamental to our lives, and who we are and where we live is too often a factor in how we are able to access many social and economic benefits.
At QCHA we are committed to challenging intolerance and discrimination, celebrating the diversity in our community and to extending equality of opportunity to everyone regardless of their background.
As an organisation we have Equality obligations which we must legally meet, however over and above this we want to engender a genuine culture of fairness and inclusion in everything we do. To underpin our commitment we are currently developing our Equality and Diversity strategy for the next three years which will set out our equality objectives and how we intend to achieve them.
Our Strategy will outline what we will do to promote equality and good community relations. We also want to play our role in challenging poverty and socio-economic disadvantage in the work that we do as a social landlord, and to build on the commitment we have shown in signing up to the Challenging Poverty charter
Our customer’s views are vital to us in developing an effective strategy which targets specific areas to bring the most benefit to where it is most needed. We particularly want to hear about your experiences in using the services we provide and also any barriers you may have encountered in accessing our services, but we also want to hear any other comments or feedback you may have about equality and fairness and what you would like to see us do.
We would really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback and your experiences of using our services. You can send any comments or feedback you have to ContactUs@qcha.org.uk or directly to Des Phee at our Business Strategy Team.
Queens Cross take leap in workplace equality
Queens Cross Housing Association has jumped 82 places in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a UK-wide benchmarking tool for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) workplace equality. The Association now ranked 310 of 439 organisations, up from 392 last year, one of the biggest ever improvements in the Index.
Entries to the Workplace Equality Index are judged on a number of areas, such as policy and practice and staff and community engagement. Sponsorship of OUTrun, a race held as part of Glasgow Pride week, and staff participation in events such as LGBT Youth’s Purple Friday and the No Bystanders campaign, contributed to progress this year. It’s the second year Queens Cross has taken part.
Stonewall’s Programmes Officer Sarah Chidlow said:
“A jump of 82 places is one of the strongest improvements of any organisations in the Index. It’s a testament to the progress made by Queens Cross in promoting their organisation as a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Chief Executive Shona Stephen said:
“It’s an honour to be placed on this year’s Workplace Equality Index. Being an open, inclusive organisation is incredibly important to us. We’re doing all we can to ensure we’re a fair, equal employer and landlord for all and we’re aiming to rise even higher next year.”
What are Protected Characteristics?
When we talk about Equality and diversity we often refer to the term 'Protected Characteristics'. The Equality Act 2010 brought together the many existing equality laws into a single piece of legislation. The act also introduced the term 'Protected Characteristics' and aims to prevent unlawful discrimination against anyone who has a protected characteristic. All of us have at least some of these characteristics, in effect the Equality Act should protect everyone from being treated unfairly on account of who they are. The nine protected characteristics are:
Age - this refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 65) or a range of ages (e.g. 18-30 year olds).
Disability - a person has a disability is s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Gender Reassignment - the process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and Civil Partnership - this refers to a union between a man and a woman and also includes a marriage between a same-sex couple. Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as civil partnerships. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).
Pregnancy and Maternity - pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
Race - refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion and Belief - religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
Sex - a man or a woman
Sexual Orientation - whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
We want everyone to have the same opportunities regardless of their backgrounds
Launched in February 2013, our Equality and Diversity Strategy 2013 2016 shows the commitment that we have made to making sure our staff, tenants and stakeholders are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
The strategy outlines what we are doing as an organisation and our 5 key objectives for equality and diversity:
- We gather and maintain information to understand the needs of our customers and shape services to meet diverse needs
- Our Board, CIGs, staff, volunteers and partnerships demonstrate a clear commitment to equality and diversity
- We offer effective ways for all of our customers to engage with us and customer feedback is used to review and develop services
- Our services are accessible and responsive to our customers' needs
- We are a progressive organisation and our governance, leadership structures and workforce will broadly represent the diversity of the communities we serve.