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Sainsbury's: Recognising Colleagues on EMpower's List

Category: BAME Inclusion

The acronym 'BAME' on red VERCIDA background

As part of our aim to become the most inclusive retailer, we are always striving to create an environment where every single one of our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where all customers feel welcome when they shop with us. 

This commitment sits at the heart of our business and our colleagues play a huge role in bringing this to life. Behind the scenes we have some incredibly passionate individuals putting in a lot of hard work and we're delighted to announce that three of our colleagues have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and have featured in this year's Financial Times EMpower top 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders and top 15 advocates lists - which acknowledge the fantastic achievements of the ethnic minority business community and advocates in the UK and across the globe. 

Congratulations to our Chairman David Tyler, Sarah Nelson, Group Financial Controller and Rajesh Gupta, Head of Trading, Argos Financial Services, who have all played a significant role in helping us to make our business a welcoming environment for everybody. Here we are proud to share just a few of their recent achievements.  

"Our lists exist to drive the empowerment of ethnic minorities within business. Those who have achieved personal success have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of ethnic minority leaders. Through these lists we hope to encourage individuals and businesses to stand up and work together to drive change in our society and workplace - doing so will inspire the diverse leaders of tomorrow."

-CEO and founder of EMpower, Suki Sandhu

David Tyler, Chairman - Ranked #1 on the 2018 EMpower Advocates List 

We are delighted the judges elected our Chairman, David Tyler, to top the 2018 list of EMpower Advocates. This list recognises senior leaders who are not from an ethnic minority themselves, but set an example in the workplace to create an inclusive environment for those who are. 

As Chairman, David champions equal opportunities for everyone in Sainsbury's, whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or whether they have a disability. Last year, he took on the role of co-chair of the Parker review, an independent review into how to improve the ethnic and cultural diversity of UK boards to better reflect their employee base and the communities they serve. 

David took on this role because he wanted to understand why there was a real lack of BAME representation on Boards, and to support and influence businesses to address this issue. The final report was published in October 2017 and recommended that each FTSE 100 Company have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. 

David has also represented Sainsbury's at multiple BAME events and was delighted to give the Keynote address at the Black British Business Awards in September last year. 

Sarah Nelson, Group Financial Controller - Ranked #44 on the 2018 Ethnic Minority Executive List

Since being shortlisted for the EMpower Top 100 executives last year, Sarah has pushed our BAME inclusivity agenda forward and in August 2017 she founded Sainsbury's BAME network, 'I AM ME @Sainsbury's'. As founder and chair, Sarah organised a number of networking events reaching out to colleagues from across the Sainsbury's Group. The network is growing rapidly and currently has hundreds of members across its internal social network. 

Sarah has also been passionate about establishing BAME mentoring relationships through the network, so that more senior BAME colleagues are able to provide junior colleagues with support and career development. The network plays a crucial role in helping to build BAME employee confidence, providing ethnic minority colleagues with a voice by raising awareness and understanding and empowering our colleagues with the tools to fulfil their true potential. 

Rajesh Gupta, Head of Trading, Argos Financial Services - Ranked #79 on the 2018 Ethnic Minority Executives List

Rajesh chairs our Sainsbury's Argos BAME colleague network and plays an important role in proactively pushing the diversity and inclusion agenda across our business. 

As the chair of the BAME network, Rajesh is helping to create a welcoming workplace environment by encouraging colleagues to celebrate diversity. From developing engaging and educational marketing materials that highlight diversity and inclusion, through to encouraging colleagues to celebrate important cultural occasions, like Diwali and Chinese New Year, the BAME network actively engages with our business across a variety of areas. 

Rajesh's passion also extends to out of working hours and and he regularly attends external BAME networking events to share his experiences and learn from what others are doing.

"It's fantastic to see three of our colleagues getting recognised in this year's EMpower list and we're all very proud of them. Their passion and drive has been so important in helping us to create a workplace environment where everyone feels welcome and free to be themselves." 

-Hannah Munro, Head of Inclusion at Sainsbury's 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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