Future of Work

Supermarket retailer Co-op is committed to addressing the issues that employees from ethnic minority groups may face in the workplace.  The organisation, which currently employs 65,000 staff, has set out a number of steps including publishing its ethnicity pay gap data annually from 2021. The employer will also call on the government to make this mandatory.

To increase awareness during Black History Month, Co-op has launched online seminars, giving employees from ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to communicate their thoughts with their fellow co-workers on diversity and inclusion issues.

Co-op has also partnered with Black Young Professionals (BYP) with its strategy to double its representation of black, Asian and ethnic minority (Bame) leaders by the end of 2022, an increase from 3% to 6%. Furthermore, the organisation plans to increase this by a further 4% to 10% by 2025, and plans to create diverse shortlists for all advertised leadership roles.

Furthermore, it will maximise the use of its apprenticeship scheme to support Bame candidates by seeking new partnerships that focus on onboarding young people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Working with its academies trust, Co-op will also develop a new curriculum on anti-racism to ensure its employees are informed and educated about workplace ethnic inequality.

Steve Murrells, chief executive at Co-op, said: “At Co-op we have set ourselves the vision of working towards a fairer world. We will not achieve our vision without delivering on these commitments. These are not on the side, or nice to have. Our very purpose of existence will fly or fail based on our ability to deliver these commitments. We have got a long way to go. But I have the talent, energy and determination of my employees alongside me.”

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