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Sarah Nelson

At Sainsbury’s, Sarah has accelerated the momentum of the ethnicity network over the last two years by engaging and educating senior leadership, increasing visible allies at operating board-level, and her work has led to a 300% increase in network membership. She mentors BAME individuals and advises the business on BAME issues to proactively influence the BAME strategy. Following the acquisition of Argos, Sarah has supported the integration of two BAME networks and has launched and participated in numerous initiatives to increase BAME visibility. As one of the most senior black colleagues within the business and a visible female role model, Sarah speaks at external events on D&I issues, and is also an advisor to other BAME networks within the retail industry.

Sarah Nelson

This year, Sarah has built on her success as founder of Sainsbury’s BAME network by growing members from 400 to over 1,200 and has refreshed the strategic agenda of the network, engaging operating board members and senior management, while ensuring the diversity and inclusion agenda continues to progress across the business. She organised and hosted the first intersectional event at Sainsbury’s (Diversity within Diversity) celebrating LGBT colleagues of colour, increasing awareness and creating a lasting and visible partnership between the LGBT and BAME networks. She has created a popular and impactful corporate BAME quiz, leading to more open discussion of BAME topics and organised and led two senior management and line manager engagement sessions for over 80 directors, senior managers and line managers, aiming to engage them on the strategic objectives and role of the BAME network. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah continues to mentor and coach individuals from her BAME mentoring circles and speaks at external events to provide guidance and share her experiences and insights, including engagements at local schools during Black History Month.

Dr Raj Patel

Within Sainsbury’s, Raj co-chairs the BAME network, co-leading all work streams, and organised six BAME inclusion events at regional, zonal and national level. He supports listening groups and learning sessions for BAME colleagues, and organised an inclusion event for senior leaders, providing insight, support and challenge for leadership. Raj is a member of the inclusion steering group and launched an internal BAME role models campaign for the Sothern Zone, which  saw more than 50 business leaders share personal stories to inspire other colleagues to take action on their own development. He is involved in mentoring BAME talent across the company and has sponsored BAME colleagues on courses geared towards fast tracking management promotions. Raj has worked hard to deliver improvements to policy, making Sainsbury’s a more inclusive place to work, and to product proposition, making Sainsbury’s a more inclusive place to shop. Externally, Raj has organised and led numerous D&I events, helped other corporations launch BAME networks, and delivered insights about what it is to be a BAME role model to various organisations, helping to support them through their D&I journeys. Raj has been recognised as a BAME role model by Sainsbury’s and as a top BAME inspirational leader by The Guardian (Investing in Ethnicity Award).

Sarah Nelson

Sarah is the Group Financial Controller and chair of the BAME network at Sainsbury’s.  As a longstanding member of the Race Steering Group, Sarah has actively influenced Sainsbury’s diversity and inclusion agenda and is committed to help Sainsbury’s achieve its vision of being the most inclusive retailer where all colleagues can fulfil their potential. In 2017 Sarah founded Sainsbury’s first ever BAME network, leading a number of networking events and initiatives for employees across the business. Through this, almost 400 colleagues were reached through organised events and the network’s social platform.  Sarah is passionate about ensuring all individuals feel included within the organisation and that they can reach their full potential and as such, mentors a number of BAME colleagues. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah continues to mentor and coach individuals from her BAME mentoring circles and speaks at external events to provide guidance and share her experiences and insights.

Sarah Nelson

Having held a number of senior positions at Sainsbury’s and been recently promoted to Senior Manager, Sarah is passionate about sharing her story and being a role model to BAME colleagues across the business. Sarah has been a member of the Sainsbury’s Race Reference Group for four years, helping the business achieve its vision of being the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop by working on a number of initiatives including regular events for BAME colleagues. She currently mentors eight BAME colleagues across the organisation and over the last seven years has mentored many more colleagues. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah has been part of Business in the Community’s Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles for the past three years as a lead and guest mentor and has taken part in external speaking opportunities to share her experiences and insights.

Irvinder Goodhew

Irvinder is a positive, influential role model who plays a key role in Sainsbury’s diversity and inclusion programme, which has been in place since 2010 with the vision of being the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop. She co-chairs the Sainsbury’s Race Reference Group and mentors a number of BAME colleagues across the business, many of whom have gone on to champion and drive the inclusion agenda. Irvinder has led on multiple events for Sainsbury’s colleagues to drive inclusion, including its first BAME colleague development events which saw over 400 colleagues come together with the business’s most senior leaders. Sainsbury’s has since put a regular networking programme in place for BAME colleagues across the country. Irvinder has always had a strong sense of stewardship, and outside of Sainsbury’s  has spent time volunteering in schools, mentoring BAME individuals and working with senior leadership teams, focussing on developing future leaders and driving inclusion at all levels.