Gentoo is committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. Equality is about removing barriers and making sure people from all sections of the community have fair and equal opportunities to access services. Diversity is about respecting and valuing people’s differences and treating them in an appropriate way. Inclusion is about making sure that people feel comfortable to be themselves, and feel that they belong.
We recognise our responsibilities in respect of the protected groups specified in the Equality Act 2010. They are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation which are specified in legislation. We also include gender identity.
- treat you fairly, with dignity and respect;
- not treat you less favourably because you belong to one of the protected groups;
- not tolerate intimidation, discrimination or harassment against you based on any protected characteristic, and will take action against staff or customers who behave in this way;
- collect information about you to help us to develop and tailor our services to meet different needs;
- make information available on request in a format that meets your needs, for example, larger print, audio or Braille;
- communicate with you in the language you prefer, including British Sign Language. We have access to telephone interpretation services and by prior appointment, we can arrange for an interpreter to be present;
- communicate with you in ways which are sensitive to the needs of different protected groups. Examples include the option to choose an interview with a staff member of the same sex, or with a staff member who has personal experience and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues;
- involve and consult with customers and others who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and will make changes to our services when their feedback tells us this is necessary;
- carry out “equality assessments” of our policies to make sure they are inclusive and do not have potential to discriminate against any group;
- ensure our housing management procedures reflect issues of concern for members of protected groups. For example, hate incidents are given high priority within our community safety procedures;
- provide our staff, board members and involved customers with training and guidance so they understand their responsibilities and the standards we expect;
- provide an annual report to our Board, telling them about our progress and identifying our priorities in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion;
- require those working with us or for us to support our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and will challenge those who don’t.