Top UK retailers sign diversity pledge

The chief executives of some of the UK’s largest retailers have formed a new partnership aimed at creating more inclusive workforces across the country.

The chief executives of the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer (M&S), and recruitment business PageGroup founded the movement. The three executives also signed an open letter outlining how they want the pledge to be an “action-orientated” movement that will “multiply its impact beyond their own workplaces”.

“This is an important step towards creating diverse and inclusive workplaces for all our colleagues where they feel a true sense of belonging,” said Steve Murrells, group chief executive, Co-operative Group. “Collectively, as CEOs and leadership teams, we know that more must be done and each of us has a responsibility to be role models and agents of change to drive true inclusion throughout our organisations, our products and services and the communities we serve.”

The new consortium was formed in partnership with DIAL Global - a diversity & inclusion organisation that helps businesses become more inclusive with advice and expertise.

Other retailers that signed the agreement include Superdrug and Unilever.

The pledge focusses on ensuring workplaces are inclusive with clear steps to ensure current and future leadership team diversity; a commitment to measure progress annually against 10 areas of diversity and inclusion, which were first introduced in 2020 through an inaugural report from the McKenzie-Delis Foundation; a promise to implement strategic diversity plans with clear accountability for CEOs and their leadership teams; a commitment for each CEO to share their learnings and strategic plans for the future.

“We are delighted to have these three remarkable and high-profile CEOs on board with us as founding partners,” said Leila McKenzie-Delis, founder of DIAL Global and The McKenzie Delis Foundation. “As leaders of some of the UK’s largest corporations, they manage hundreds of thousands of employees and play a critical role in driving action to ensure that diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity are core themes of workplace culture.

“Through our work, we have committed to authentically move the dial by taking a holistic approach to the various facets of diversity in order to create a more equitable society.

“Along with these three CEO Activists and all the other organisations that have already signed the pledge, we will all work together to be real models for open, authentic, evolutionary conversation to drive action and give a voice to all.”

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