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Inclusion & Diversity at Ocado Retail – July 2020 update

In June, we shared our response to the death of George Floyd and the events which followed. We stated our determination to be agents of positive change. We said that more work was needed to make our Inclusion & Diversity action plan match our ambitions, and that we would post again this month with an update on progress in this area.

Our Inclusion & Diversity action plan

Our action plan is focussed equally on colleagues, suppliers and customers: our intention is that there will be no hiding place for disadvantage or discrimination of any kind at Ocado Retail.

We’ll ensure that every colleague feels like they truly belong at Ocado Retail and that they can wholeheartedly bring their best selves to work:

  • We’re building strong internal communities. We have set up an inclusion community for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues (we don’t love the catch-all acronym BAME, but recognise that it is well-understood), alongside other groups including Women, LGBTQ+, Disability, Mental Health and Working Families. These groups feed into our Leadership Team to ensure diverse views are represented and considered by our most senior stakeholders. 
  • We have been collecting robust data on the identities, intersectionalities, and differing experiences of all our colleagues at Ocado Retail, and we can now share the ethnic diversity of our employees. Our team is 15% BAME – 4%  black, and 11% from Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds, this mirrors the UK population*. And our leadership team is 15% BAME, including our Māori CEO. 

We’ll put inclusion and diversity at the heart of our hiring and retention practices, because a truly diverse workforce makes us a stronger organisation. 

  • Every Ocado Retail employee will complete unconscious bias training by the end of September.
  • We’ll have diverse long lists for all senior roles.
  • We’ll continue to monitor salary benchmarking across all employees. 

 We’ll support Black-, Asian- and Minority Ethnic-owned businesses, both those already supplying Ocado Retail, and those wishing to supply us in the future. 

  • We’ve reviewed the language we use in our supplier application forms, to ensure every potential supplier feels equally supported and fairly treated.
  • We’ll include diversity questions as part of our supplier application process from August, to help us to monitor the diversity of our supplier base.

We’ll reflect the UK population in our marketing and range choices, and ensure fair representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in all our marketing activities. 

  • We’re carrying out a full review of our product range to ensure every product represents our views. The full review will be complete by the end of 2020, but we’re already taking some early steps, such as delisting Aunt Jemima, which uses a racial stereotype in its packaging and marketing. 
  • We’ll ensure that the content creators and models we use in future advertising are a fair representation of BAME communities**.
  • We’ll explore collaborations and memberships that help us to lead the way in inclusion and diversity for our industry and the wider community.

Finally, we celebrate diversity and inclusion in all its forms, and we’re very proud to report that, as well as a female CEO, our mighty leadership team is 70% female, which is reflective of our customer base.

Combined with our ethnicity data, we believe this makes us the most inclusive and diverse grocery business in the UK.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We’ve made significant progress since we last posted – although there is so much still to do. We look forward to sharing our progress with you again in October, and every three months after that.

With continued hope and fierce determination,

Mel Smith, CEO, and everyone in the Ocado Retail family.

We hope you support our efforts. Please share your questions or suggestions by emailing us at diversity@ocadoretail.com

*As a comparison, the most recent UK census reported 87% of people in the UK as White, and 13% as belonging to a Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic group. (source: UK Census data from ONS).

**We amended this statement on 30th July because it contained an incorrect figure

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