Diversity in Retail group launched

Diversity in Retail has been launched by a group of high-profile founding members committed to sharing best practice and advancing diversity in the sector.

Multi Unit Franchising


John Lewis Partnership, Wickes, WHSmith, Sainsbury’s, EG Garages, Dr Martens, Dixons Carphone and Kingfisher have become the founding members of a new organisation dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the retail sector called Diversity in Retail (DiR).

The group is dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels within organisations in the retail sector through establishing a unique collaboration community where D&I best practices are shared and tangible solutions are co-created.

Tea Colaianni, Founder & Chair Diversity in Retail (DiR) who is also the Founder & Chair of WiHTL, DiR’s sister organisation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in hospitality, travel and leisure, said: “I am very excited about the impact we can have when we join forces for the good of our employees, customers and society as a whole. I passionately believe that no single company can make progress with the inclusion agenda on its own. I am inspired by the commitment and collective efforts of the community’s founding members and look forward to working together with the senior leaders of the founding members to expand the reach of the DiR Community and make a tangible difference.”

Kenny Wilson CEO Dr Martens added, “For the past 61 years, Dr. Martens has consistently been a brand driven by the diversity of our wearers, and the people that work for us. I truly believe that a workforce which is diverse at all levels, is an imperative part of a businesses’ success, and an important indicator to customers of being who you say you are as a company. By joining the other organisations that have also chosen to support Diversity in Retail, Dr. Martens commits to cultivating a culture and environment where everybody can be empowered, included, and can thrive at work. We will champion the underrepresented, create space for conversation, and support our peer businesses by sharing best practice as we work together to highlight this critical topic.”

Carl Cowling CEO WHSmith shared, “I am very proud that WHSmith is a founding member of the Diversity in Retail Collaboration Community. At WHSmith, we are committed to promoting a culture of equality and diversity through our policies, procedures and working practices to ensure all our colleagues can be themselves. The diversity, inclusion and equality agenda affects us all, and it will only be through coordinated effort and the sharing of best practice that we will be able to collaborate meaningfully and, in turn, support the growth in our industry, protect the wellbeing of our colleagues, and offer our customers the best shopping experiences possible.”


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