Sainsbury’s is to become the partner and sponsor of WiHTL and Diversity in Retail’s fourth Ethnic Future Leaders Programme (EFL).
The cross-industry intiaitve aims to identify and invest in high potential ethnic minority employees, supporting their progression into leadership roles.
According to WiHTL and Diversity in Retail’s 2022 annual report, senior level ethnic representation does not reflect society and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population as a whole.
Although the proportion of ethnically diverse leaders at board, executive committee and direct reports level has increased in recent years, 33% of retail companies still have all-white boards.
Subscribe to Grocery Gazette for free
As part of the EFL programme, the delegates taking part will be given access to a combination of external experts and industry leadership role models, in addition to becoming part of a wide-reaching alumni network.
“As a founding member of Diversity in Retail, we are delighted to be sponsoring the Ethnic Future Leaders Programme,” Sainsbury’s CEO, Simon Roberts said.
“We are passionate and proud to be an inclusive retailer giving colleagues the support they need to build careers and fulfil their potential. Our sponsorship is testament to our commitment to diverse representation and this programme will give our people the additional tools they need to drive their development and confidence in their roles.”
WiHTL and DiR founder and chair, Tea Colaianni said: “I am so pleased to welcome Sainsbury’s as the sponsor of our fourth Ethnic Future Leaders Programme which aims to invest in and develop the industry’s diverse talent pipeline.”
Colaianni added that as the first retail company to partner on the programme, “Sainsbury’s is a true pioneer in this area,” and its “commitment to driving change and creating equitable opportunities for everyone will have a lasting positive impact.”
“By working together, we can positively change the conversation around race across the industry and beyond.”