A diverse workforce

Image: A diverse workforce at OptivoOur commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

At Optivo our aim is to have a diverse and inclusive workforce where people are respected for who they are.

We embrace cultural diversity in the workplace and value the strengths it brings us as an organisation.

We know employees who can be themselves at work will be happier and more productive. We’re proud to have signed up to the ‘10 by 2020’ challenges set out by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

This is challenging the housing sector to improve its record on leadership and diversity by 2020. You can read more about this on the CIH website

Image:Diversity logos

Leadership 2025

We're also backing Leadership 2025, a leadership development programme to promote better representation of BME individuals at leadership levels.

In November 2017, a survey by Inside Housing showed there were only three BME chief executives (out of 64 associations to respond) and 15 BME executives (including the three chief executives) out of 330 executives – the equivalent of 4.5%.

In response to this challenge, we have partnered with L&Q, the BME London Group and Roffey Park, to develop a leadership programme – Leadership 2025.

Six participants have been selected for an intensive nine-month business school accredited programme with the aim of preparing them to become the sector leaders of the future.
Image: 2 Optivo members of staff supporting each other at work

Support for staff

Our Diversity Development Programme supports staff from under-represented groups to develop their careers.

We know successful businesses progress from the widest pool of talent.

We’re continuously working with residents, customers, partners and suppliers to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in regards to:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment/identity
  • marriage/civil partnership status
  • pregnancy, maternity and paternity
  • race (including colour, ethnicity or national origin)
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.
Image: Pictures from the Black History Month event at Grosvenor House

Channels for change

We want to be recognised as sector leaders in our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. We’re working hard to ensure we bring a diverse range of people forward for interview.

How we recruit, engage and progress our staff is connected to a strong, outcome-driven Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy.

Our EDI Group are leading the way and act as a sounding board for our internal and external stakeholders. This group is dedicated to helping everyone at Optivo feel they can be themselves and see their differences as a strength rather than a barrier to success.

We also have support to ensure individuals from protected groups have specific forums for discussion and channels to initiate change.
Image: The Optivo LGBT networking group at Pride
These currently include:

  • Wellbeing and disability forum (care, long-term mental and physical health, disability, reasonable, workplace adjustments)
  • Women’s networking group
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans people) networking group
  • BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) networking group
  • Multi-faith support group.


What do our team think?

We like to think Optivo is a diverse place to work that encourages equality and inclusion in everything we do.

But don't just take our word for it! Here are some quotes from those that work here...

Selina (based in London):

Image: Selina works for Optivo“One of the things I really like about Optivo is the opportunity to attend BAME meetings. As an Indian/West-Indian woman I can see that prejudice is still evident in today’s society. The group is a chance to express my thoughts on this, and also suggest any ideas that can be implemented at Optivo to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

I myself have not had an issue coming from a BAME background, or being a woman, here at Optivo. However, I’m grateful to have the support of a group, which is open for people of all backgrounds to join.”

Romy (based in Sussex):

Image: Romy from Optivo"A career at Optivo is not just about doing your day job.  It’s about being part of a team and, being part of a truly diverse and dynamic workforce.

I love being part of such an enthusiastic team, helping residents to reach their potential. Optivo are great at helping staff to reach their potential too.

Alongside the fantastic career development opportunities we’re proud to host and support staff diversity networking groups. Optivo know that people are happiest and perform best when they can be themselves.”