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We celebrated gender equality and diversity at our latest Co-op National Members’ Council on Saturday 7 July; The first time we’ve had 50 female and 50 male council members in attendance. Below our newest Council Members Jeevan and Tracey share what happened on the day.
(Transcript) Jeevan: I got involved with the Members’ Council because I love co-ops. I think they’re a great way of organising businesses and I believe strongly in membership organisations who live for their members but also work for their communities.
Tracey: I guess I viewed the Co-op as a bit more of a beacon of good practice on the high street and I wanted to be part of helping it improve. As a new member I was interested to see if people would be here because they have business ideas or because they were just wanting to have something to do. They’re here because they’re absolutely passionate about what the co-operative stands for and they really want to make it work well and I was just thrilled to discover that that is what was happening.
Jeevan: The thing that’s really struck me today is the passion and the values that a lot of the Council members have on this body. They’re not content with things as they are or the status quo, they’re asking challenging questions. Because to them from my perspective, they want the Co-op to be the best it can be, so it’s been really exciting and interesting to hear these different views, these challenging questions from people who really do seem like they care.
Tracey: Today we talked about a wide range of things. I think the diversity of what the Co-op is offering came home to us with Insurance which was very good and I like the fact that we are making things more inclusive and making insurance available to people who are possibly not normally able to get Insurance easily. I do view the Co-op as being very much about giving access to as many people as possible and being of service to the whole community not just part of it.
Jeevan: It’s really great that on the members Council of 100 people it’s 50 male and 50 female. I think that’s great because first of all it makes us look a bit more like Britain and that’s a good starting point because we’re a co-operative. We made it to over 4 million active members and as a body, we need to represent them and act in their interests, and if a representative body doesn’t look like the people it represents it’s not going to make the right decisions. Making sure that a body is as diverse as possible and has diversity of thoughts, opinions in place – I think you know – it makes it stronger, and a body that makes better decisions.
Jeevan and Tracey
Members of National Members Council