When we feel we belong and we can be ourselves, we’re more likely to bring all our skills and talent to bear, contributing our diverse voices and perspectives. This is great for decision making, innovation, identifying risks and supporting all our customers. As an organisation, it gives us more insight into customers’ lived experiences and helps shape fairer and more responsive services.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
To support our people to be able to give their best and meet the needs of our customers with fairness and empathy, we are actively working to develop a culture where difference is valued and respected and equality of opportunity is assured.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy outlines the actions we are taking.
We have a family of colleague networks that provide peer-to-peer support, offer education and insight on the lived experience of these often-marginalised groups. We have reported our gender pay gap for the last five years. Where a gender pay gap exists this is largely because there are more women in the lowest paying roles and fewer women in the highest paying roles. Our analysis suggests that gender stereotypes, held and reinforced by wider society, are part of the root cause for our gender pay gap. Our Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap Report provides more details.
Our strategic goal is to be “a diverse, inclusive organisation where our people thrive and respond to the needs of our customers with fairness and empathy”.
Being an inclusive organisation involves everyone. It takes commitment at every level of the organisation to help ensure equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is embedded across Sanctuary.
We have three groups leading the charge:
Our leaders have an instrumental role to play in supporting EDI. Sanctuary’s Executive Committee are committed to championing diversity and inclusion and leading by example.
Senior leaders across the organisation who work directly with their Group Director to drive delivery of our strategic objectives for EDI in each business area.
Volunteers with lived experience and their allies who provide invaluable support to colleagues and insight to the organisation.
Our Inclusion for All Strategy provides us with a clear vision and objectives against which we can hold ourselves accountable as we seek to address equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Our networks in action
Formed by members of staff coming together with a shared interest in inclusion, our four staff networks provide invaluable support to colleagues and insight to the organisation.
They also offer different perspectives – from the Parent Network to PRISM, our LGBTQIA+ network, REN, which focuses on issues around race equality and the Disability Network, which launched at the end of last year and has already empowered many staff to speak and share their own experiences, sometimes for the first time within the workspace. Each of the networks is connected to an executive sponsor, who lends strategic support and serves as a visible and vocal advocate.
Alongside the Staff Council and the annual YourSay survey, the networks give staff a chance to be heard and Sanctuary a chance to listen and learn from staff experiences.
In 2021, we assessed Sanctuary against the Disability Confident standard and made clear our desire to work with Disability Confident suppliers. We also developed an inclusive approach to recruiting new members to our Resident Scrutiny Panel and set out plans to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of our communications.
One year later, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022, we celebrated the official launch of our employee Disability Network. Made up of members of staff with lived experience of disabilities or long-term conditions and their allies, the network is a platform to raise awareness of disabilities of all kinds and effect positive change for colleagues across Sanctuary.
Born out of the Covid pandemic, when stay-at-home orders blurred the lines between work and life more than ever before, the Parent Network supports Sanctuary employees who are expectant parents, undergoing fertility treatment, or parents or carers of children of any age.
The network shares stories, resources and advice based on their lived experience. It also raises awareness of the experiences of parents and those wishing to become parents, provides feedback on when organisational policy and practice don’t enable staff members who are working parents to perform to their best at work and offers suggestions on improvements the group can undertake.
PRISM is a network run by and for Sanctuary employees who identify as sexually and/or gender diverse, plus their allies. One of the key facets of PRISM's purpose is raising awareness, celebrating the community's heroes and achievements and supporting Sanctuary to embed a culture of inclusivity. This year the network developed on a programme of activities to share during LGBT History month. They hosted informal lunch time drop-ins, reviewed films, shared documentaries, promoted podcasts and created playlists of music that brought LGBT history to life.
During the summer of 2020, senior Sanctuary executives met with ethnic minority colleagues and listened to their experiences and ideas for change. These conversations led to new leadership workshops around unconscious bias, celebrations to mark Black History Month and the launch of our Race Equality Network (REN).
REN consists of colleagues from different ethnicities who are passionate about race equality and want to forge positive change. It offers a safe space where colleagues can share lived experiences. REN does a great job at raising awareness across the organisation, growing empathy and understanding around cultural diversity – so that we’re all better colleagues and service providers.
Throwing light on LGBT History
PRISM is a network run by and for Sanctuary employees who identify as sexually and/or gender diverse, plus their allies. One of the key facets of PRISM's purpose is raising awareness, celebrating the community's heroes and achievements and supporting Sanctuary to embed a culture of inclusivity. This year the network developed a programme of activities to share during LGBT History month. They hosted informal lunch time drop-ins, reviewed films, shared documentaries, promoted podcasts and created playlists of music that brought LGBT history to life.