This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter which is about focusing on getting more men involved in the conversation around gender equality.
As a man, you might think it’s odd for me to talk about International Women’s Day, but to create a fairer Co-op and #BalanceforBetter, it’s really important that men are part of the conversation. We need to listen and understand our colleagues’ experiences and only then can we be part of the solution.
Our Co-op has a long history of being progressive, from campaigning for women to get the vote, to being one of the only major retailers with a female CEO, and our Exec Board having a 50:50 gender split. But we need to do more. It’s not just about having more women in leadership positions, but creating an environment where we’re all respected and valued as individuals.
We know that the experiences for women across the business can vary and we’re working hard to change that. We all have a part to play, whether male or female, colleague or leader. We all have the responsibility to build a more inclusive culture for everyone. After all, allowing people to be themselves at work is one of our Ways of Being.
There are lots of events happening across the business, both in Manchester and out in our stores, depots and funeral homes, organised by colleague networks and Inclusion Pioneers. I’d encourage you to think about what you can do to make your team or your department more inclusive.
For me, the one thing I’ll be doing this week is walking the floors in the Support Centre, starting conversations with colleagues and leaders and listening to what they have to say. I’d like to see more colleagues become Inclusion Pioneers, so when you see me please say hi, and let me know your thoughts.
What’s the one thing that you’ll do to #BalanceforBetter?
Director of Internal Audit and Lead Inclusion Pioneer