The LGBTQ+ at Tesco colleague network re-launched two years ago and since then has massively grown its membership and engagement. The network has utilised all the communication channels available to spread their message of inclusion to every part of the business – from digital platforms, to promotional flyers, to an 8-page spread in the all-colleague magazine. The group even recruited regional champions and non-LGBTQ+ volunteers to get more people involved.
With many of Tesco’s employees being key workers, the network had to re-think how it supported colleagues through the COVID-19. They developed a comprehensive new strategy for the network and built support across the business to ensure it could be delivered.
As well as providing year-round confidential support to LGBTQ+ employees, the network delivered a huge range of initiatives to build understanding of different identities and to support colleagues to step us as allies. This included: a video series for LGBTQ+ History Month, informative blogs for awareness days throughout the year, and events exploring the history of Pride, asexuality and ace spectrum identities, LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of HIV/AIDS, and non-binary equality. Through this work, the network has already reached thousands of colleagues across the business.
Alongside their awareness-raising initiatives, the network acts as a supportive friend to Tesco, advising on how its practices can be improved across the business. Internally, this has involved organising trans inclusion training for HR and senior leadership, supporting the launch of pronoun badges in stores, consulting on a new diversity internship scheme, and supporting the development of mental health initiatives. This work has extended to customer-facing initiatives too, with work to improve the diversity of product ranges like greeting cards.
The network group has gone from strength-to-strength since it’s re-launch and continues working hard to ensure that every LGBTQ+ person at Tesco can reach their full potential.