Category: Employer Focus, diversity inclusion, progress, programme, ambition, achievement
As Black History Month draws to a close, Sainsbury's and Argos colleagues across the UK have had a fantastic time celebrating this special month of observance together. A tradition that started in the US, this annual celebration has been adopted by the UK to shine the spotlight on and celebrate black history and culture as well as the contribution of those with Africa, Caribbean or Asian descent.
We've made some significant steps forward in our Diversity & Inclusion programme this past year. As our ambition to be the most inclusive retailer continues to progress, we're proud to share the stories of what's happening within our business to celebrate Black History Month and the fantastic achievements that have been reached.
Sainsbury’s named as one of the UK’s Best Employers for Race
Sainsbury’s continually looks at introducing new ways of creating an inclusive workplace culture and we are delighted to announce that Business in the Community has named Sainsbury’s as one of the UK’s Best Employers for a race in the first ever listing of its kind. The Best Employers for Race list was compiled to showcase best practice on race equality in UK workplaces, following a recommendation from the McGregor-Smith Review of Race in the Workplace, which was compiled earlier this year. Sainsbury’s proved it is putting leadership on race into place within our organisations, creating inclusive workplace cultures and taking action in leadership, progression and recruitment.
“Congratulations to Sainsbury’s on being named in the first ever Best Employers for Race listing. They are taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling racial inequalities within their organisation and have shown their commitment and leadership on this issue.”
Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community
I Am Me Network
Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s launched its I Am Me network to build BAME colleague confidence by supporting better progression for BAME colleagues, while celebrating our different cultures and empowering colleagues to continue developing an inclusive culture. The network has been incredibly successful, enabling our colleagues all over the UK to connect with one another. I Am Me BAME events are also taking place across the country with various colleagues hosting sessions to share stories and discuss meaningful topics.
The importance of diversity and inclusion
Throughout Black History Month we have been celebrating with stories from some of our fantastic BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) colleagues and they have shared their thoughts on why diversity and inclusion is so important to achieve success:
“There's a great quote from Verna Myers that sums it up perfectly: "Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance. It's about making sure that everyone, regardless of background, can bring their whole selves to work and feel included by doing that. Only then you can be the best version of yourself.”
Sarah Nelson, Group Financial Controller and chair of I Am Me, our BAME colleague network
“14% of the UK population is from an ethnic minority, so our colleague base should reflect that at all levels. I’ve always made a conscious effort to make sure the teams I lead are diverse. If you've got representation from different cultures and experiences, you’ll have a variety of perspectives and will be better equipped to make the right decisions for the communities you serve.”
Raj Patel, regional Operations Manager at Sainsbury’s
BAME Mentoring Circles
Launched earlier this year, BAME mentoring circles are an initiative run by our board to share knowledge and experience as a group. The sessions take place once every three months and each follow their own individual format to ensure BAME colleagues have an opportunity to work together and address specific development areas. The board has been actively pushing this initiative forward, seeing it not only as a great opportunity to develop mentees but also for themselves to build their own knowledge and understanding.
A cause for celebration
Black History Month has been a great time for colleagues to reflect and it’s a mark of how far we’ve come as a business when it comes to discussing ethnicity. It’s been a packed month of activity, which ended with a visit from television presenter June Sarpong MBE, who spoke about the importance of diversity in today’s society.
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