Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in Grocery LIVE! took place on Friday 15th October at Wembley Stadium, bringing together more than 1,200 colleagues from across the grocery industry to enjoy a packed and informative agenda of speakers, Live Labs and Speed Networking sessions, hosted by June Sarpong, MBE.

Throughout the day, guests were inspired by presentations from Ash Amirahmadi, Arla Foods; Dame Sharon White, OBE, Chair of John Lewis Partnership; Bobbi Pickard, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at BP and Mallika Basu from Development Initiatives for Change (Di4C).

D&I In Grocery LIVE! provided delegates with a unique opportunity to connect, learn and inspire change. Important topics, such as mental health, ethnicity, transgender, menopause, age inclusion and neurodiversity were discussed openly in an environment charged with grassroots passion, determination, and collaboration.

This year, Accenture, Amazon, Coca-Cola EP, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull and Tesco, all delivered Live labs for delegates in a ‘silent disco’ style session which discussed topics such as reverse mentoring, accessible design, company values and creating equity programmes.

The event is just one element of Diversity & Inclusion in Grocery’s 12-month programme which facilitates incredible collaborations across the industry and drives tangible change through its three main pillars: shared learning, mentoring and the live event. This year more than 40 partners were involved in the programme,

Vincent Barnes, Tesco Global Vice President, Procter & Gamble said: “In our industry, Diversity & Inclusion In Grocery represents the single largest group of retailers and suppliers working on the shared goals of inclusion and diversity. For us at P&G, while we have our Company specific initiatives, the programme makes it possible to learn from everyone in our industry and then do more. It’s invaluable.”

Throughout the year, partners of the programme collectively work towards the vision of creating an inclusive working environment for colleagues throughout the grocery industry: a place where everyone is inspired to be themselves and flourish without fear, prejudice or discrimination.  The mentoring pillar develops talented individuals directly and helps to build a more diverse future leadership.

Caroline Cater, Vice President, Field Sales at Coca-Cola European Partners and Mentoring lead said: “We have a responsibility to change the future culture of the Grocery industry through building diversity. Diversity & Inclusion in Grocery is led and run by the industry, for the industry, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

In 2021, the mentoring initiative successfully paired 134 mentors and mentees from across the industry, while the Shared Learning element delivered 12 Learning Labs to nearly 4,000 colleagues. Learning Labs are presented by partners of the programme who take it in turns to discuss a variety of diversity and inclusion topics including LGBTQ+ Pride, Disability in the Workplace, Being Culturally Sensitive and Understanding Menopause.

If your organisation would like to get involved in the Diversity & Inclusion in Grocery 2022 Programme, email hello@diversityingrocery.co.uk. All money raised from the Diversity & Inclusion in Grocery Programme goes towards GroceryAid, the industry charity. For more information, visit https://diversityingrocery.co.uk/.

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