Rory has played an active role in championing and creating more inclusive workplaces for a number of years, most recently through mentoring ethnic minorities in the John Lewis Partnership, sponsoring one of their inclusion networks, informally advising senior leaders on their approach to inclusion, establishing a reverse mentoring initiative, and talking both internally and externally on matters of relevance to inclusive workplaces – engagement, inclusion and mental health. Outside his immediate workplace, Rory is a formal member of a number of external groups that seek to better enable people to ‘bring their whole selves’ to work. Through these communities, Rory undertakes speaking engagements, mentoring and networking with a focus on social change. Noting that BAME groups living in the UK are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and yet are also less likely to engage with mainstream mental health services, he has enjoyed the opportunity to speak at industry and business conferences on the topic of diversity and inclusion, and mental health. Over the coming year, he is looking to work with charities and community interest groups that address themes that are of particular importance to BAME communities.
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.
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).
Rory has played an active role in championing and creating more inclusive workplaces for a number of years, most recently through mentoring ethnic minorities in the John Lewis Partnership, sponsoring one of their inclusion networks, informally advising senior leaders on their approach to inclusion, establishing a reverse mentoring initiative, and talking both internally and externally on matters of relevance to inclusive workplaces – engagement, inclusion and mental health. Outside his immediate workplace, Rory is a formal member of an external group of ‘changemakers’ who seek to better personal and business approaches to creating inclusive change in organisations and communities. This is alongside ongoing active engagement in a range of external communities, speaking, mentoring and networking with a focus on social change. As part of this, he spoke to a diverse group of leaders on a programme run by the Centre for Synchronous Leadership. The programme (Walk the Tightrope) brings together senior change makers who are on a journey to unlock their full potential without dimming their unique attributes and talents. In other words, to unleash them in the most inclusive way possible.
Rajesh has chaired the BAME network for the last 3 years and has worked to engage the business on the topic of diversity and inclusion. He was instrumental in setting up the network and in getting board sponsorship around the network’s objectives. With the help of the BAME network, Sainsbury’s is creating a more welcoming environment by celebrating diversity very visibly. From engaging and educational multi-media content to celebrate diversity, to using Yammer internally to create discussion and highlighting ethnic minority role models, through to celebrating important cultural occasions, such as Diwali and Chinese New Year. The network actively engages with the business around a variety of topics such as the need for diverse recruitment pools and the need to measure BAME recruitment and retention statistics. They also hold an annual BAME conference, attended by members of the board, to discuss the importance of BAME inclusion and methods for increasing diversity. Externally, Rajesh regularly attends BAME networking events in London organized by various thought leadership groups to share his experience and learn from what others are doing
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.
Gerald has a collaborative management philosophy, based on inclusion, diversity of ideas and perspectives, and direct, open communication and behavior. He promotes diversity through objective, data-based business processes, diverse sourcing for recruitment, speaking engagements, and board appointments. He publicly sponsors, coaches, and speaks at all levels engaging all employee’s participation, ethnic minority organizations, and company employee resource groups. As a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and previously as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Co-chair of CALIBR, Gerald has grown member programming, leadership and professional development events, and participated in ELC’s business case competition and scholarships. As an outside patron sponsoring regular internships and a bi-annual program for Npower’s students to engage and be counselled by Under Armour employees, he was recently asked to join their Baltimore Regional Advisory Board. Gerald’s history of mentorship and service to ethnic minority entrepreneurs and professionals includes a Congressional Medal for Outstanding Service and Achievement, the Black Engineer of the Year, Special Recognition Award from US Black Engineer Magazine, and until recently was deeply involved in one of the nation’s only all Black Boy Scout Troops, developing 7 Eagle Scouts.
Katie previously served as co-chair of the AIG African Caribbean network and worked with the committee to build induction events with other BAME internal employees as well as looping them into external networks that helped to aid long-term development. She ensures to always make herself available as a mentor, either long or short term, and ensures that new joiners are considered for awards and nominations from the start of their career. She has been an advisor for the last 3 years for a recruitment platform (Headstart) that uses machine learning to speed up recruitment processes, but also to reduce bias in recruitment as she feels this is a very important avenue to tackle the challenges BAME candidates may face from the early stages of their application process. Katie also speaks at Generation Success events annually and sits on panels to inspire BAME professionals and students by telling her life story which tracks her early years in Swaziland to her current role at Amazon.
As Chairman, David sees that it is his responsibility to champion equal opportunities for everyone in Sainsbury’s , whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or whether they have a disability. We recognise that inclusive teams with high levels of diversity perform better and enable us to come to the best decisions for our customers. We give this matter good visibility right up to Board level. David took on the role of co-chair of the Parker review because he wanted to understand why there was a real lack of BAME representation on Boards, and to support and influence businesses to address this issue. The Final Report on ethnic diversity of UK Boards was published in October 2017. David has also represented Sainsbury’s at BAME events where he has been happy to share their achievements to date. David was delighted to give the Keynote address at the Black British Business Awards in September 2017.
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.