Equality, diversity & inclusion

Working together with our people, residents, communities and our partners, we are building a culture where difference is celebrated and valued.

A cartoonist draws pictures of an Eastlight resident at an event
  • A man in a wheelchair speaks to a man who is standing next to him about what is on a computer screen

    Influencing change

    We believe society as a whole must engage and create a fairer, more inclusive environment.

    We want to influence change beyond the areas where we have homes. 

    This isn’t a tick box exercise for us. We will challenge racism and discrimination at every opportunity.

    We create an environment that embraces difference and different perspectives.

    With our people, residents and partners we encourage open discussions about disability, religion, age, marriage, civil partnerships, race and sexual orientation. 

  • Two Eastlight colleagues talk in the office

    Just Being You mentoring

    Our Just Being You mentoring programme shows us the barriers faced by a variety of protected groups.

    Each mentor is paired with one of our Directors to help them understand the challenges they face. This helps our people positively influence or challenge ideas and misconceptions.

    These discussions can help shape our future, how we make adjustments and improve.

Our partnerships

Society has a long way to go and we partner with a range of organisations to help Eastlight and others to address inequality.


Eastlight is proud to be the Founding Partner of nationally renowned disability organisation, Purple. Our joint approach helps us to drive equality and accessibility for disabled people in the housing sector.

See more about Purple and the work they do here.

The Purple initiative inspires leadership and staff in organisations of all sectors and sizes to promote awareness, develop understanding and implement solutions for better accessibility in their customer environments.

At Eastlight, we have committed to continuing our progressive work with Purple since 2020, by engaging with customers, partners and staff, with a clear focus on disability inclusion.

At Eastlight, we work with a wide range of individuals with disabilities and complex needs. It is imperative for us to create an environment that supports our customers and people so that we can make a lasting impact and build a more inclusive society.

We are proud to be partnered with Purple for a third year running, now as Founding Partner, celebrating Purple Tuesday and supporting an initiative that focuses on improving the customer experience for people with disabilities right across the globe.

The Purple Tuesday movement is highlighted each year by a celebratory day, the first Tuesday of November, also known as Purple Tuesday.

In 2022, the celebration in the United Kingdom reached more than19 million, involved more than 7,000 social media conversations and received more than 270 pieces of broadcast and print media.

To read about our latest efforts and ongoing partnership with Purple, click here. 

We’re proud to have progressed our status in the Government’s Disability Confident employer scheme.

We’re recognised as being a leader in being disability inclusive. Our progress within this area has been rewarded with Disability Confident Leader status.

Our levelling up included introducing a Neurodiverse Recruitment Programme and continuing our partnership with disability charity, Purple.

For the third year running, we have been the Housing Sector’s Purple Partner and hope to continue this relationship to aid our inclusion journey.

Progress on our disability inclusivity journey includes:

  • Successfully completing the Disability Confident self-assessment
  • Taking all the core actions to be a Disability Confident employer
  • Attracting more neurodiverse individuals to join us at Eastlight through our recruitment programme with ECL
  • Exploring additional actions we can take to support our people at Eastlight through our Just Being You mentoring programme
  • We commit to encouraging job applications by offering an interview to candidates who declare they have a disability, if the person meets the minimum criteria for the role.

We remain committed to being the catalyst for significant change by having open conversations with all our staff and residents to level up the inequality between disabled and non-disabled people. We also continue to improve our services and ways of working so that we are an accessible, inclusive and leading employer for diversity.

That’s why we are working closely with ECL to change how we recruit to ensure neurodivergent individuals are supported throughout their application and time at Eastlight.

ECL provide high quality social care services in Essex, London Borough of Havering and West Sussex aimed at wellbeing, prevention and increasing independence. Find out more about ECL and the work they do here.

As part of our partnership, Eastlight will provide the following for individuals applying for roles through the Neurodiverse Recruitment Programme:

  • A ‘meet and greet’ before the interview stage to visit Eastlight Hub and see what a working day might be like at Eastlight
  • An opportunity to meet the recruiting manager before the interview stage to find out about the role
  • Additional adjustments throughout the recruitment process
  • An interview where the panel has been briefed on interviewing neurodivergent individuals, with the assistance of ECL
  • A dedicated support coach from ECL for the first 6 months of employment.

Championing equality, diversity and inclusion across the East of England and nationally is important to us.

Eastlight is involved with Build East, a partnership of housing associations working together to meet the needs and ambitions of the people and communities in the region.

A Build East Charter, agreed in May 2021, outlines our joint commitments for leaders, employers and landlords. 

Our Chief Executive Emma Palmer is leading on raise awareness regionally and nationally, in line with the National Housing Federation’s Code of Governance.  

What will the charter achieve?

  • Increased knowledge and understanding across the region.
  • More diversity in our workforces, apprenticeships/traineeships and Boards.
  • Empowering people to mentor leaders understand a wide range of lived experience – leading to improvements based on people’s differing needs.

Without prejudice or judgement, everyone has the right to a stable home regardless of their sexuality.

We recognise the challenges members of our LGBTQ+ communities and are committed to equal access to our housing and services.

Our people are encouraged to ‘bring their whole selves to work' ensuring everyone’s housing needs are met.

 Did you know:

  • 20% of gay men changed their home (eg. moving pictures or books) to hide their sexual orientation from a visiting repairs operative or housing officer?
  • And 60% of trans people do not feel safe in their neighbourhood.

The HouseProud pledge, is a response to the survey which produced these shocking statistics. The aim is to ensure the home is a place where people can freely express their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity without fear or prejudice.  

The aim to ensure the home is a place where people can freely express their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity without fear or prejudice.

Eastlight will work with involved LGBTQ+ residents and foster positive relationships. We aim to achieve the HouseProud Pledge Pioneer accreditation by:

  • Making sure that LGBTQ+  customers can have a voice at executive / strategic level
  • Increase LGBTQ+ visibility
  • Initiate a programme of staff training to improve LGBTQ+ lives

By being a member of the HDN network, Eastlight learns and collaborates with others who are committed to best practice.

It helps us get most from our people and meet the needs of our communities.

You can read more here.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

At Eastlight, we are committed to transparent gender pay gap reporting.

Analysing this data provides insight into the difference in pay between male and female staff and helps shape our equality aims and objectives.

Click the link below to read our most recent Gender Pay Gap Report for 2022.

Read the 2022 Report
Scales Balancing Both Genders

Gender Pay Gap 2022

Click here to read our Gender Pay Gap Report for 2022.

Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap 2021

Click here to read our Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021.