Co-op colleagues across the country have been supporting Pride events this summer. Support for Co-op’s involvement in local Pride festivals has been phenomenal with many Co-op Members, colleagues and customers sharing their Pride experiences on social media using #PrideInCoop.
We’ve also heard from some people on social media asking how Co-op supports other minority groups. Here’s just some of the work our Co-op does to support diversity.
LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*)
Our support for LGBT+ people is largely driven by our volunteer LGBT+ colleague network, Respect. Co-op colleagues who identify as LGBT+ or any other sexual orientation volunteer their time to create policy, promote an inclusive working culture at Co-op and influence how we provide services to colleagues.
This year, we offered Co-op colleagues the chance to celebrate Pride in their community, crowd-sourcing potential local Pride celebrations Co-op could be part of via social media. The most popular locations received some funding and local colleagues in those communities volunteered their time to put on their Pride celebration.
Similarly to our LGBT+ colleague network, we also have a volunteer network for women working here called Aspire. The network supports women’s professional development and hosts events where women can discuss their careers and the world of work from their perspective.
Our Digital business is also very active in the digital community, particularly in the North West of England where the majority of its colleagues are based. Co-op Digital sponsors women’s interest digital events such as Ladies of Code and the Girl Geek Academy which helps to train young women in digital skills.
Co-op Digital colleagues are also often asked to speak as experts at industry events, but Co-op Digital colleagues will only speak at events or be part of panel discussions of two or more people unless there is at least one woman speaking or part of the panel, not including the chair.
BAME (Black and Asian Minority Ethnic) and Disabled
We’re currently looking at how we might replicate the great work colleagues have done with our volunteer Respect and Aspire network for BAME and Disabled colleagues. We hope to progress this in 2018.
Diversity and Inclusion Pioneers
We’ve recently recruited 70 volunteer Diversity and Inclusion Pioneers from our colleague community too. These colleagues will be supporting all minority groups and encouraging inclusion in their local community with training, resources and time given by Co-op.
Diversity and Inclusion Manager