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Our people promise

We strive to create an environment where everyone is enabled to succeed and grow together.

By celebrating differences through our culture of authenticity, inclusion and purpose, we create a unique sense of belonging.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Statement

We all have a personal responsibility to challenge discrimination and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

At Progress, we are determined to ensure people are treated fairly and respected as fellow human beings. Many things are wrong in our society, but we are committed to ensuring we contribute to making it a fairer place for all.

Our employment offer is an important part of that commitment, and we are working hard to be better at creating opportunities for all. Our role as a social housing provider is to champion the right for everyone to have a decent home and to be supported so every individual can reach their potential. These principles are demonstrated in our values and how we work with tenants, customers and colleagues daily. Our offer is genuine; we truly want to improve the lives of our tenants and customers and create new opportunities for all. 

Jacqui De-Rose, Chief Executive

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from diverse backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the Group and enhance how we work. We believe we have a role to play in tackling inequality, which tends to impact people in our society disproportionately.

We comply with the Equality Act 2010 (the 'Act') and understand our duties under it. As an organisation we would treat any reports of discrimination seriously. We would ensure that any reported incidents were investigated thoroughly, with appropriate action being taken in line with our internal policies and procedures.

We aim to be an inclusive organisation where diversity is valued, respected and built upon, with an ability to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and board of management that reflects the communities we serve. Within this framework, the Group refers explicitly to measures it has in place to provide equality of opportunity and the facilities it can provide to its diverse workforce, tenant and customer base. Our Equality Diversity Inclusion Strategy sets out our EDI objectives.  

Customer Voice - Working with our tenants and communities on community-led projects and also leading forum groups and scrutiny activities to provide feedback on how services provided can be improved. For 2022/23, we held 293 events with 2,437 attendees and 557 individuals recorded on client events.

Progress Futures - Working with our tenants and families to enhance opportunities, build capacity, and provide access to resources and support for those people who are particularly disadvantaged or vulnerable. For 2022/23, we supported 341 customers, and 298 secured a job, began a training or education course, and supported more than 1,400 people through community-based job clubs.

We have also partnered with DFN Project SEARCH, Runshaw College, Lancashire County Council, Hft, South Ribble Borough Council (SRBC) and the Department for Work and Pensions to provide valuable internship experience for people with a learning disability or autism. In 2022/23, eight interns graduated, two have secured roles within the Group, three with SRBC, and one has an apprenticeship with the BBC.

We are committed to enabling a sense of belonging to ensure our working environment reflects our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives. Our values and culture are vital to supporting this.

We have created a dedicated leadership programme with over 70 of our senior leaders and managers participating, and we held values-led sessions rolled out across the whole organisation, welcoming many colleagues.

We have codesigned our culture narrative and report with the Board and colleagues.

An inclusive and diverse culture

We are committed to valuing diversity, ensuring equality of opportunity, and recruiting and promoting based on merit and contribution.

We want to attract the best talent and recognise that placing diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do will help us achieve this aim. We value and celebrate the qualities, background, perspectives and lived experiences that every individual can bring to a role.

An environment where people are treated fairly, based on their capability and contribution, and everyone is encouraged to be themselves and be supported in their career aspirations.

Training, support and development opportunities for people living with different abilities/challenges.

We monitor training to ensure that all employees receive equality of opportunity and, where appropriate, we provide colleagues with special lots of training facilities to enable growth, development and accessibility to compete or qualify for positions within Progress Housing Group.

We offer flexible and hybrid working patterns to ensure work-life balance.

We value our employees and we have been awarded the Investor in People standard.

All employees are required to ensure that their personal conduct within the Group reflects our EDI values. We have a thorough mandatory EDI training programme and offer EDI sessions across the year. These include mental health, autism awareness, dementia awareness, menopause awareness, learning disabilities and physical disabilities amongst others.

We will regularly review and monitor our recruitment and selection policy to ensure that no job applicant or employee is treated less favourably than another. The results of the monitoring are reported to the board of management on a quarterly basis. 

Apprenticeships are a great way for the Group to ensure we are training our employees with the specific skills to meet the increasingly diverse needs of our services. We create apprenticeships at various levels, which may be the first job, a career, or a development change in your chosen career.

We consider creating apprenticeships when existing employees are promoted to undertake significant role changes or request support for professional qualifications when these meet the criteria of acquiring new skills and developing existing skills. We take our responsibility to develop the skills of young people seriously, and our apprenticeship programme is always popular.

We have committed to work towards Harry's Pledge, which includes making offices and community spaces we offer as accessible as possible, installing ‘Changing Place’ toilets in any new offices open to the public, and being a carer-friendly employer.

We are now a level 2 Disability Confident Employer;(external link) this means we can help eradicate mental health discrimination and play a leading role in changing attitudes for the better. 

We are committed to supporting employees who have a disability. We display the ‘disability confident - committed’ symbol, demonstrating that we meet the standard to encourage and make adjustments for applicants with disabilities.

Our Contract Management Framework has been developed to aid in the implementation of a Contract Management Standard across all Group business areas.

It will ensure we are proactive, compliant, efficient and effective in the management of the performance of our contracts and that desired outcomes and intended benefits are delivered over the term of any one agreement.

The Framework follows an eight-stage lifecycle plan, each dealing with a specific area in procuring and delivering goods and services and providing guidance and support for contract management processes.

The Group supports events and key dates to celebrate and raise awareness of diversity throughout the year. Colleagues are encouraged to share lived experiences and differing understandings of the world through our internal communications channels.

We also have several employee-led networks:

  • LGBTQ+ 
  • Roots
  • Carers Together
  • Meno Movers

As part of our commitment to Time to Change to help eradicate mental health discrimination, we have trained volunteer mental health first aiders.

As an employer, we are actively encouraging diversity at the board level through our award-winning programme; we are attracting more diverse talent to our organisation, and we continue to seek opportunities to open up conversations around race, diversity, representation, inclusion and belonging to ensure important issues are discussed, and consideration is given to how we can constantly improve.

Through mentoring, coaching, and training, our Board Diversity Programme (in partnership with the Housing Diversity Network) aims to identify the next generation of influencers from all walks of life, supporting and developing them into candidates who are board-ready and promote diversity of thought, experience, and skills across the housing sector.

In its first cohort, the programme successfully appointed 11 candidates, seven of whom were female and five who identified as being from a minority ethnic background. The innovative diversity project won Highly Commended both at the 24 Housing Diversity Awards and the Chartered Institute of Housing ‘Housing Heroes’ Awards.

As part of this ongoing EDI work, we recently launched a new mechanism for colleagues and Non-Executive Directors to better understand how inclusive people felt Progress Housing Group was as a place of work.

Our most recent survey indicated areas for improvement, which generally consisted of increasing our diverse workforce, increasing our awareness and training, and improving our listening and identifying individual needs. Following analysis of the survey results, the following actions were suggested to enhance inclusivity in the Group: 

  • The promotion of both unseen disabilities and impairments in general, including hearing impairments
  • The high volume of respondents who have experienced some form of mental health illness indicates some form of training in mental health awareness would be beneficial
  • More information on why we are requesting personal information and how and why this information is being used may increase reassurance and understanding and increase uptake in providing this information
  • Expand visibility of the activity taken by the Group in support of diversity and inclusion to increase understanding and awareness of employees, Non-Executive Directors, customers and tenants as a whole.

In our workplace, we have around 20 wellbeing champions who are a point of contact for colleagues experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. 


Project SEARCH is an international transition to work programme committed to transforming the lives of young people with learning disabilities and autism.

Inclusive and diverse communities

As part of the equality, diversity and inclusion work we have established a sub-group looking at community groups and tenants. This group aims to understand the makeup of our tenants and create firm links with community groups that can help us understand the needs of minority groups better.

The sub-group is also networking with groups and organisations who have a good reputation for their approach to equality, diversity and inclusion to see what best practices can be introduced across the Group.

We hold a monthly information session for our supported living tenants, looking at different areas of their home and tenancy. These sessions provide information in an interactive and easy-to-understand way. The group of tenants currently meet using Zoom, which has developed a virtual community whilst helping to develop digital skills and confidence.

Areas covered by this group have included:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • White goods and furniture
  • Garden volunteers
  • Health and safety.

We are proud to support Lancashire’s first inclusive rugby club. 

We are a founder supporter of Stop Social Housing Stigma, a national tenant-led campaign established in 2017 to help smash the stereotype publicity around social housing. We continue to actively support the campaign, promoting the value and benefit our tenants and customers bring to our communities.

Our Progress Futures service works to enhance opportunities, build capacity, and provide access to resources and support for those people who are particularly disadvantaged or vulnerable. 

We are committed to ensuring information for our tenants is accessible to all. This includes:

Where possible, we offer:

  • Easy Read
  • Audio
  • Explainer videos with BSL
  • Braille
  • High contrast.

All communications are available in large print and plain language.

We are committed to supporting and enhancing our communities by supporting local charities and voluntary and community groups. During 2022/23, we supported community groups and projects by investing over £197,000 from our Community Investment Fund for 46 applications. 


We are a member of Learning Disability England.

Learning Disability and Autism Housing Network (external link)

We are a founder member of the Learning Disability and Autism Housing Network.

The Learning Disability and Autism Housing Network is a coalition of housing associations calling for action to address and tackle the country’s shortage of housing for people with a learning disability and autism.

Investing in our people

We firmly believe that our employees and Non-Executive Directors are our greatest resource. By working together as one team and valuing the contribution that everyone makes, we will achieve even more.

We are Investor in People accredited, and our personal development opportunities align with our Strategic Plan and Business Priorities, underpinned by our vision, mission and values.

As well as providing tenant training and development opportunities, we invest in our employees to help them improve their skills, confidence and future job prospects.

Our culture encourages colleagues to invest in their development, actively seek opportunities to grow themselves and their teams, share their knowledge and support others in their development.

Development opportunities have ranged from mandatory training and e-learning to coaching, mentoring, and career development programmes.

We have supported those who want to volunteer or gain qualifications and have run management and leadership training programmes to develop strong leaders across the business.

  • Continuous personal and professional development and support to develop achievable career plans
  • On-the-job training
  • Personal review and development planning
  • Coaching and mentoring – both from externally qualified and internal coaches and mentors
  • Apprenticeships - from level 2-7 relevant to role and specialist areas
  • Digital learning - formal learning resources available via our MYLO platform
  • Shadowing - the opportunity to spend time with colleagues in other teams to understand how we work together towards our Strategic Plan.

Our most recent employee engagement survey had a response rate of 73% with an Engagement Index Score of 77% and a healthy Employee Net Promoter Score (how likely employees were to recommend the organisation) of +22.  

People told us that they work well with their colleagues, are committed to continuous improvement and think their manager cares about their health and wellbeing.

Our focus continues to be on employee wellbeing and work-life balance.