Gentoo is top housing association on Stonewall's top 100 LGBT employer list

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Sunderland-based Gentoo, is the only housing association to make it into the top ten and one of only five housing associations to be listed in Stonewall’s list of top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers for 2018. 20 other North-East based organisations also made the list, including the North East Ambulance Service who came 46th and Newcastle City Council who 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. 434 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. This list of Britain’s best trans employers included fellow housing association Your Homes Newcastle. This year every organisation in Stonewall’s Top 100 had to demonstrate a tangible commitment to trans inclusion to secure a place on the list.

Some of Gentoo’s positive trans inclusive work has included establishing a coffee morning and meeting place for trans customers and journey mapping with customers to help them to improve their services. Gentoo has also developed a set of trans inclusion guiding principles to accompany their policies and have started training/conversations with staff about why trans inclusion matters.

Lucy Malarkey, Deputy Director 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 ten is a great achievement.

“Taking part in the WEI is invaluable, as this helps us to ensure we continually improve, remain consistent in our approach and demonstrate 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. 

“We’ve been successfully engaging our LGBT customers to help make improvements to the services we deliver and to improve inclusivity – as at Gentoo we believe that inclusive communities are stronger. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who made the top 100 in the WEI. It is so inspiring to hear about all of the amazing work that is being done to ensure every LGBT employee can be themselves in the workplace.”

Darren Towers, Executive Director, 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. This year, for the first time, the Index looked at what employers were doing for trans equality in the workplace. This work is crucial. We recently published LGBT in Britain: Trans Report, which revealed the profound inequality facing trans people in Britain today. Half of trans people have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination. This must change and it’s encouraging to see so many organisations make a commitment to trans equality. With their support and hard work we can create a world where all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees are welcomed and accepted without exception.” 

For more information about Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index visit