Posted by on June 28, 2023 under Articles
When you’re free to be yourself, you’re at your best and when you’re at your best, there is no limit to what you can achieve in your career.
That’s why creating an inclusive culture is, and always will be, at the heart of our business. It’s vital for our future success.
If you read deeper into the Partnership’s Purpose – Working in Partnership for a Happier World – you’ll see that it is held up by three key pillars; Happier People, Happier Business and Happier World. Without a DE&I strategy led by our Partners, our Happier People pillar wouldn’t stand, which means we also couldn’t deliver on Happier Business or World either.
You see, our happier business first starts with happier people, enjoying worthwhile and satisfying work in a supportive environment we all help to create. We treat people with fairness, courtesy and respect, and we work with others who do the same. We create an inclusive environment and celebrate diversity with our Partners, customers and the communities we serve.
To ensure that our Partner’s happiness is maintained, we’ve set up eight networks to represent the diversity and inclusion of our Partners. Their aim is to provide support and diversity training among their members and give everyone the opportunity to connect with people who are similar or different to them. Also – and just as importantly – the Partnership networks influence the business’ overall Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
The first of these to be set up was our very own Pride network which supports the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. They are focused on enriching the happiness of Partners through increased visibility and support. They regularly attend and celebrate Pride events across the UK.
We recently caught up with some of the committee members of the network who balance their day jobs with running and organising all of the activity the network produces, while also raising awareness of the work they do.
Nicky, Partner, Operational Assurance Manager & PiPs Co-Lead
2-years ago Nicky joined our Pride in the Partnership Network. She is now co-lead of the network which plays an active role in supporting our LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.
In taking on such an important role within the network, Nicky is driven in her mission to create a better link between all Partners and the Network, having not always felt that connection from her own personal experience in the past.
David, Partner, Furniture Aftercare & PiPs Co-Lead
Starting as a personal passion to support inclusion as a whole at a local level, David is now co-lead of our Pride in the Partnership (PiPs) network.
“I was involved in a lot of D&I initiatives at a local level within the Customer Care team, especially when it came to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. This led to some crossover with our overall PiPs network and last February, after working with the network to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, I was invited to join on a larger scale.”
“Since being involved on a Partnership-wide level, I have felt so fulfilled by what we do across the John Lewis Partnership. From giving a platform to Partners to share their stories, to seeing the work behind the scenes on how we support communities and charities. It has been a brilliant experience and I can only see it getting better!”
Jo, Partner, Customer Care Team Manager & PiPs Network Promotion Lead
“I wanted to be able to give a voice to the many LGBTQIA+ Partners and to use my influence and experiences to ensure we are heard.”
For 15-months, Jo has been the Network Promotion Lead for the network. Using her personal mission to raise awareness and education about the LGBTQIA+ community and build it’s network of allies.
Toby, Partner, Learning & Development Practitioner. & PiPs Network Administrator
“I joined the network as I know that the work we do not only contributes to us being a fully inclusive business, but also supports our Partnership Purpose of creating a happier business, run by happier Partners.”
Damian, Partner, Change Manager & PiPs Communications Lead
Damian has been part of the network now for 9-months and wanted to join to help improve the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Partners, as well as raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues, and increase understanding of and tackle LGBTQIA+ inequality in our society. Through the network, he hopes to encourage conversation, education and celebration of our intersectional identities.
Although Pride month (which falls in June each year in the UK) is a great opportunity for the network to raise further awareness of the work they do, and to hold educational and support sessions for our Partners, their dedicated hard work doesn’t stop there. It’s all year round. Helping to create a safe inclusive place for our Partners and customers, always. It’s thanks to Partners like Nicky, David, Jo, Toby and Damian that we continue to work towards being the most inclusive employer in the UK. 💚
Find out more about Diversity & Inclusion in the Partnership here.
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