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Retail

IGD Introduces Reverse Mentoring Pilot For Inclusion And Diversity

IGD is piloting a reverse mentoring programme that seeks to create a more inclusive workforce across the food and consumer goods industry.

The programme supports leaders to champion inclusion and is part of the ongoing National Inclusion Week, from 27 September to 3 October 2021.

National Inclusion Week seeks to promote the importance of equality in the workplace.

Safe And Collaborative Workspace

IGD aims to highlight its mentoring pilot, which has helped create a safe and collaborative space for leaders to hear the lived-in experiences of those from under-represented groups, and support companies to drive positive cultural change.

Fiona Miller, director of People Programmes at IGD, said, "With our unique ability to bring together stakeholders from across the whole food and consumer goods system, IGD is perfectly positioned to support businesses to create workplaces where everyone can thrive.

"We are committed to helping businesses address inclusion and diversity in all parts of their organisation, running free learning programmes targeted at senior leaders, line managers and across the grassroots of organisations."

The mentoring pilot has been co-created with several companies, including Aldi, Asda, Associated British Foods plc, Bacardi Limited, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Co-op; Greencore, KP Snacks, Mondelēz International, Morrisons, Premier Foods, and Tesco.

Reverse Mentoring Programme

The mentoring partnerships comprise a mentee and a reverse mentor from different, non-competing companies across the food and consumer goods industry.

The mentee is a senior person who can impact business culture, and the reverse mentor is someone from an under-represented background who would benefit from the opportunity to grow an external network and support a mentee to broaden their knowledge and understanding of inclusion.

Miller added, "The reverse mentoring pilot is part of IGD's People programmes which include employability, inclusion and diversity and free learning, and all help the food and consumer goods industry address the skills shortages and challenges around the competition for people.

"The industry plays a vital role in feeding the nation, and it must accelerate efforts to build a workforce fit for the future."

A 'Fantastic' Experience

Susan Barratt, CEO of IGD, participated in the programme and was mentored by Sarah Atta-Nugent, diversity and inclusion specialist – BAME workstream at Morrisons.

Barratt described her experience as "fantastic" and added they were able to "create a safe space" for a very open and honest conversation about their own experiences of inclusion as well and broader discussions about society.

Barratt continued, "Part of the challenge of the programme is to make sure everyone taking part can be genuinely honest, and I've found my experience of this to be invaluable.

"I'm passionate about wanting to lead an inclusive workforce. Inclusion has to be part of our strategy to attract people and enable them, and the food and consumer goods industry as a whole, to thrive."

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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