L&Q Place Diversity and Inclusion at Core of Business

Published on 22/05/2018


Charitable housing association L&Q has announced it will adopt the “Rooney Rule” when recruiting for senior leadership positions within the organisation.

The new policy will involve L&Q interviewing at least one BAME and one female candidate when recruiting for senior leadership positions providing they meet the role criteria.

It is the first housing association to do this and will address the lack of diversity in the sector. Nearly three-quarters of housing associations have an executive team that is completely white, and two are led entirely by white male executives, said Inside Housing.

L&Q’s people are drawn from across London’s multicultural communities, and over half of its workforce are women. However, at senior level, the balance could be improved to better reflect the diverse makeup of the organisation as a whole.

Named after Dan Rooney, former owner of the American Football team Pittsburgh Steelers, the “Rooney Rule” forms a vital part of L&Q’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Other planks of the strategy already in place include three staff diversity networks and the recent appointment of Jan Gale as the organisation’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

The implementation of the “Rooney Rule” will not disadvantage any social and gender groups from the recruitment process. Applicants will continue to be invited to interview if they meet the role criteria, and will be selected for the role if they are the best candidate at interview. L&Q will also not be ‘lowering the bar’ - everyone invited to an interview will need to meet the requirements for the role.

Jan Gale, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at L&Q, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time at L&Q as we start to place Diversity and Inclusion at the very heart of our strategic decision making.

“Concrete policies like this will ensure we remain a fully inclusive place to work, and that our diversity is reflected throughout the organisation. A diverse, inclusive workforce means higher performance, better staff engagement and more innovation: all of which have been, and will continue to be, crucial in enabling L&Q to thrive.

“The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce also go beyond our employees and allow us to best serve our residents and the communities where we work.”

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “L&Q is driven by its values, including our commitment to empowering our people and residents. Adopting the “Rooney Rule” is part of us living those values.

“Our ability to deliver for our residents and communities starts with recruiting and retaining a diverse, talented, and motivated workforce. This move will mean we are able to draw from a wider talent pool, a broader range of skills and backgrounds, and ensure we recruit and retain the best people for the job.”