Co-op colleagues at Pride

February is LGBT history month and we’re celebrating at Co-op with stories from LGBT+ colleagues across Co-op.

Earlier this month Stonewall announced our place in the 2018 Workplace Equality Index (WEI) where we ranked 66 and were again highly commended for our Respect LGBT+ colleague network.

Stonewall logoNearly 440 companies enter Stonewall’s WEI and they look closely at policy, colleague networks, allies and senior leaders, when deciding on rankings.

We’ve done better in the past, but it’s important to remember what Co-op has been through.

Our Respect LGBT+ network works hard with the Diversity and Inclusion team and all the businesses in our Co-op to support LGBT+ issues and create a truly inclusive organisation. We pride ourselves on the support we give to all our colleagues, encouraging them to be themselves always.

Co-op colleagues at a Pride event

We need you

This year, we’re asking all Co-op colleagues which Pride events they’d like to get involved in. Please fill in this short form and let us know.

One of our big aims for 2018 is to make Respect more regional and identify allies across the business. We’re looking for colleagues across the country to help spread the word. If you’d like to get involved or find out more about Respect, email us at

Ben Brosnan
Co-chair of Co-op LGBT+ network


Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Advice please? may we have an option on our Funeralcare Rainbow system and the new Guardian system when entering a deceased, for a transgender formal title please, at the moment there is only Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms, none of which are suitable as I sadly found recently, and we cant leave it blank either, the computer doesn’t like it. As we are such a supporter of RespectLGBT this should be amended ?

    • It’s the same in Co-op Insurance Jacki when setting up policies for our customers. Perhaps this is the reason we’ve dropped down the rankings. I’d hate to think Co-op is doing less for the LGBT community than previous years when we were higher. It looks like we’re slower to respond to the changes in our society than other businesses perhaps. I have a gay grandson and i’d hate for him to think I work for a company that isn’t supportive of all orientations or these new transgenders that he’s currently teaching me about!

      • This is a sticky issue, and really the only “safe” option would be to have a blank, free text box where you enter the title manually. Otherwise anything that we suggest is an assumption and an imposition, and the “accepted” alternate titles of Mx, Məx, Mz. etc may not be accepted as suitable.

    • Hi Jacki, Thanks for the feedback, I have sent it to the Guardian team who will be in touch with you.

    • As transgender means they are transitioning from there birth gender to the one of there choice the titles provided cover what they were and want to become so I see no issue.

      • Hi John

        Some people don’t identify as male or female. The titles on these forms are generally set to Mr/Mrs/Ms and these are generally seen to align to male or female. Some people don’t identify with these titles and prefer not to use a title at all or use another title such as Mx.

        Where there is no legal requirement, it would be great if Co-op didn’t force people to use titles they don’t feel comfortable with. It’s no benefit to anyone really 🙂

        • Hi simonhunter87

          Even if people are not comfortable that doesn’t mean we start making up titles to please people when the correct titles are available.

          As there is no issue as the titles are correct there is no need to makeup titles that make no sense.

          Hope this helps to clear things up 🙂

          • Jon, the entire language is made up, we just don’t currently have widely-accepted words to cover identities which have until recently been ignored.

            When there are people whose identity is not covered by the language, the fault is with the language and not the people. Words must therefore be found or made up to fill the gap.

            There used to be no readily-accepted title for a woman who didn’t want to be defined by her marital status, so the long-forgotten “Ms” was revived. Language changes, and must change, to fit reality.

            Hope this helps to clear things up Jhon 🙂

  2. We did drop from the early 30’s to position 66 in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Would be good to see what Lloyds Banking group are doing!

  3. I’d love to tell you what pride events I’d like to get involved in but that website is blocked for insurance colleagues. Unfortunately the technological level of google docs has not reached us. Sorry no “us” and “them”, apart from when it comes to IT networks #OneCoop – Still would like to get involved in Pride and Respect!

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Be yourself always