Senior leaders at the Co-operative Group, M&S and PageGroup are founders and early signatories of the ‘CEO Activist & Moving the Dial on Diversity Pledge’, a movement to advance workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I), which puts renewed emphasis on purpose-driven and accountable leadership.
Steve Murrells, Group CEO of the Co-operative Group; Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks and Spencer; and Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, signed the agreement to advance the acceleration of underrepresented groups in their respective workplaces in partnership with DIAL Global – a diversity and inclusion accelerator.
The leaders also signed an open letter outlining how they want the pledge to be “action-orientated” and create impact beyond their workplaces.
They are asking over 100 UK CEOs to sign the pledge before December 2022, potentially boosting the importance of accountable senior leadership in workplace D&I across the British business sector. Thanks to their advocacy, leaders from Alfa Financial Software, Fresenius Kabi, HH Global, IPSOS, Lexis Nexis, Lucky Generals, Rugby League World Cup, Superdrug and Unilever have already signed the pledge.
The pledge focuses on four areas: becoming an inclusive workplace with clear steps to ensure current and future leadership team diversity; committing to measuring progress annually against 10 areas of diversity and inclusion established in the first report from the McKenzie-Delis Foundation; promising to implement strategic diversity plans with clear accountability for CEOs and leadership teams and committing for each CEO to share their learnings and strategies for the future.
The pledge launch comes ahead of the second report from the McKenzie-Delis Review, which will provide a detailed outline of UK corporate workplace diversity and inclusion and be published this spring.
The McKenzie-Delis Review takes a “holistic approach” to diversity and inclusion by reviewing how employers address their efforts across 10 facets of workplace diversity and inclusion. These include race and ethnicity, gender, age and generation, nationality, mental health and wellness, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability and neurodiversity, religion or belief, and parenthood and caring.
Leila McKenzie-Delis, Founder of DIAL Global and The McKenzie Delis Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have these three remarkable and high-profile CEOs on board with us as founding partners. As leaders of some of the UK’s largest corporations, they manage hundreds of thousands of employees and play a critical role in driving action to ensure that diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity are core themes of workplace culture.
“Through our work, we have committed to authentically move the dial by taking a holistic approach to the various facets of diversity in order to create a more equitable society. Along with these three CEO activists and all the other organisations that have already signed the pledge, we will all work together to be real models for open, authentic, evolutionary conversation to drive action and give a voice to all.”
Steve Murrells, Group CEO of the Co-operative Group, said: “This is an important step towards creating diverse and inclusive workplaces for all our colleagues where they feel a true sense of belonging. Collectively, as CEOs and leadership teams, we know that more must be done, and each of us has a responsibility to be role models and agents of change to drive true inclusion throughout our organisations, our products and services and the communities we serve.”
Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, said: “We recognise that diversity and inclusion are multifaceted issues.
Through this movement, we want to tackle these subjects holistically and better engage and support all underrepresented groups within business. We also want to unlock potential, to ensure that workforces are truly diverse and inclusive.”