How we create an inclusive working environment

Last updated 12/3/2021

At Tesco, inclusion means that Everyone’s Welcome. Everyone is treated fairly and with respect; by valuing individuality and uniqueness we create a sense of belonging.​ 

Diversity and inclusion has always been at the heart of Tesco. It is embedded in our values: we treat people how they want to be treated. We always want our colleagues to feel they can be themselves at work and we are committed to helping them be at their best.  

Across the Tesco group we are building an inclusive workplace, a place to actively celebrate the cultures, personalities and preferences of our colleagues – who in turn help to build the success of our business, and reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

The Tesco PLC Board is fully committed to building an increasingly diverse business where all colleagues are given equal opportunities through recruitment, learning and development and actively champion and support our Colleague Networks and training on the importance of Inclusion.

Recruitment

We strive to create a workforce that reflects our customers not only here in the UK, but worldwide. Our aim is to attract and welcome a diverse range of applicants from all different backgrounds.

All of our applicants and colleagues will be treated fairly and as such we have a zero tolerance approach to bullying, discrimination or harassment of any kind at Tesco.

Anti-harassment

To ensure that we are continuing to build a truly inclusive workplace, a place that actively celebrates the unique differences of our colleagues, we must create and maintain a culture that does not tolerate harassment in any form; whether these acts are committed by a Tesco colleague or by a supplier partner or third party towards a Tesco colleague.

Every colleague has a responsibility to raise acts of harassment they witness to a manager, and managers are accountable for actively challenging any inappropriate behaviour they personally see and resolve complaints that are raised to them.

You can find Tesco’s ‘Bullying and Harassment’ policy here, which outlines our approach and the standards of behaviour that we expect of our Tesco colleagues, supplier partners and third parties.

UK Colleague Networks

The aim of our colleague networks is to promote equality throughout the organisation and enable our D&I aspirations by supporting the business making inclusive decisions for colleagues, customers and the community.

Colleagues can come together to discuss shared challenges, find out how others grow their careers and network with like-minded colleagues across the business and gain the support of mentors.

We work with a number of external organisations to support us with this including, Business in the Community, Business Disability Forum, Stonewall, Be Inspired and Investing in Ethnicity. We have 5 Colleague Networks in the UK:

1. Armed Forces at Tesco

We work to support colleagues and people in the Armed Forces community. Armed Forces at Tesco brings together both former and current members of the Armed Forces and those who want to show their support, as well as coordinating activities to help colleagues meet each other and find their way at Tesco. For us there are three groups of people we think we can make the biggest difference to.

The first is in providing support to former service personnel in their search for a civilian job – this may not necessarily be with Tesco. We recognise the value of their exceptional transferable skills such as leadership, an ability to cope under pressure, and the ability to work in a team as a part of a large-scale organisation. If veterans decide a career at Tesco is for them then they can be assured that the support does not end with their employment. For example, Veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can have up to ten days (pro rata) off work to attend specialist treatment through a recognised support organisation each year.

Recognising the qualities military service brings to people in our business, we also seek to support colleagues who are reservists. Tesco’s policies allow them paid time off to attend compulsory two week training each year and an additional five days off (pro-rata) each year to support their reservist activities.

The final group we’re looking to support is the families of serving members of the armed forces. Where we have family members of service personnel employed, we will be flexible and accommodating to allow them to have time off before their loved one is deployed. We also work to transfer colleagues where they need to move elsewhere in the UK due to military reasons.

We are proud to be a Gold member Government’s Armed Forces Covenant which is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. We first signed the Covenant in 2014 and re-signed again in 2018.

2.  BAME at Tesco

We are committed to supporting BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) colleagues and we were proud to have entered the award arena for the first time; achieving top 10 at the Ethnicity Awards in the ERG/Network category.

The BAME at Tesco network aims to make a difference by raising awareness of diversity, culture and inclusion within Tesco, helping Tesco to serve customers from all backgrounds and communities a little better every day. The network’s vision is to connect colleagues from all ethnicities to develop their careers and ensure Tesco is recognised as a great place to work.

In the last year the BAME at Tesco network contributed unique knowledge and experience to support the development of new colleague resources to help raise awareness of the BLM movement; including how to have great conversations guide, D&I glossary, how to be an ally guide.

In 2019 we signed up to the Race at Work Charter and are working to implement its five calls to action to tackle barriers that ethnic minority people can face. These include appointing an executive level champion for race, board level commitment to a zero tolerance of harassment and taking action that support ethnic minority career progression – all of which have been actioned.

Investing in Ethnicity; our second partnership aids with driving change using best practices. With the assistance from the maturity matrix we work in partnership to deliver action and create change. Offering our senior leaders, allies and steering committee bespoke sessions whilst having the opportunity to network with other organisations.

3. Disability at Tesco

Our network vision is that every decision we take as a business should consider disability – both colleagues and customers.

We use the skills and experience of the people with disabilities, their friends and allies within our organisation to help transform our business. We celebrate significant dates in the disability calendar, such as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to increase awareness and drive change.

We are a proud ‘Disability Confident employer’ (Level 2). We offer activities to get the right people for our business and have programmes in place to attract, develop and retain disabled talent.

In the UK, we have established a strong relationship with Remploy and Shaw Trust, who help us find skilled and dedicated people with disabilities to work with us. We also provide a work experience programme for disabled children through the British mobility equipment charity, Whizz-Kidz.

We have a partnership with the Business Disability Forum, which provides support and expertise in building disability-smart organisations. We are also signatories to the Valuable 500 that aims to revolutionise disability inclusion through business leadership and opportunity.

4. LGBTQ+ at Tesco

 LGBTQ+ at Tesco was established in 2005 and is one of the largest LGBTQ+ colleague networks in Europe.

The network exists to support and empower our LGBTQ+ colleagues so that they feel confident to be themselves at work and be the best that they can be.

We want to connect our members together in a safe environment, and provide support for those who need it as well as career development opportunities. We seek to educate the business on a range of issues and the spectrum of identities and celebrate our diverse workforce. We want Tesco to be a business where everyone is welcome, which uses its scale for good and where everyone is an ally.

LGBTQ+ at Tesco also advocates on behalf of our LGBTQ+ customers and works across the LGBTQ+ community to support a range of initiatives and charities.

We are delighted to take part and support a number of Pride events across the country and are joined each year by over 1,000 colleagues from across the Tesco Group.

We are a proud member of Stonewall Global Diversity Champions Programme and the Open for Business coalition to support LGBTQ+ inclusion around the world.

In addition, we are also signatories of the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business on tackling discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. 

5. Women at Tesco

Women at Tesco have told us that they want to feel inspired and empowered to drive their careers forward. They want to be able to get advice and listen to life stories from both leaders and their peers in order to help them make the right choices.

We will facilitate the opportunity for all colleagues to be part of our wider network and encourage colleagues to build their own network which supports them through every stage of their career. Women at Tesco champions gender diversity and promotes a culture of diverse and inclusive thinking, where women feel confident to share their views and articulate how they add value to the business.

It is important to us to support women’s health and mental wellbeing too. In 2020 we became a founding partner of the “every women promise” with the Eve Appeal.

“ We are very proud to be a founding signatory to the eve appeal’s every woman promise, and to provide further advice and resources to our colleagues in this vital area of health. By encouraging more conversations about the menopause, we want to remove the stigma of talking about it, and increase the support for the large number of our colleagues who experience it in the workplace.”

Tesco are part of the 30% Club, a campaign group of Chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity on boards and senior management teams. We have signed up to a PWC led initiative called Tech She Can which aims to encourage women to consider careers in Technology.

We committed under the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter to have one third female representation at Board, Executive Committee and Direct level at Tesco Bank by end of 2022.

Even if our colleagues are not part of a colleague network we want to ensure that everyone feels included in our business. Some other inclusion initiatives include:

Retirement

Many older people wish to remain in work or semi-retirement and our customers value older people's experience. In the UK, we include people of all ages in our apprenticeship, A-Level and graduate programmes, giving them the opportunity to develop their careers.

Other groups

Through our Regeneration Partnership stores, we guarantee a significant proportion of jobs for long-term unemployed people. This is in addition to the work we do to attract applications through Jobcentre Plus to all our UK stores.

Young People

We have clear UK policies regarding the recruitment, training and working hours of children and young people within our business. The policy information also outlines our approach to safeguarding to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Our Launch Disability Programme supports young people facing barriers to work, due to disability and health conditions, into employment. The programme is in partnership with Remploy, Shaw Trust, Ingeus, Pluss, Mencap, Maximus, Whizz-Kidz and Reed, who will provide confidence and self-esteem training prior to young people completing a 2-week placement in one of our stores.

For more information contact our corporate responsibility team - cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com