Last reviewed 9 April 2021

Over 50 leading retailers have signed up to a Diversity and Inclusion charter, led by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), and pledged to take decisive action to improve diversity practices across the retail industry.

The businesses will focus on oversight, recruitment, progression, reporting, inclusivity and responsibility.

The launch of the charter coincides with a report published by the BRC, The MBS Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showing that more work is needed to create a fully diverse and equitable retail industry. Diversity and inclusion in UK retail: Where are we now and what comes next? can be found here.

The report draws on research from The MBS Group which encompasses data captured from more than 200 of the industry’s leading businesses, and conversations with more than 100 Chairs, CEOs and HR directors.

This is combined with a survey of 1000 sector employees carried out by PwC. The report looks closely at different areas of diversity including gender, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, social mobility and age.

It highlights that 69% of retailers have an all-male CEO, CFO and Chair while only 9.6% of the industry’s CEOs and only 4.3% of the sector’s Chairs are women.

In addition, retail has very few black or ethnic minority leaders: 4.5% of Boards, 5.8% of Executive Committees, 6.0% of Direct Reports to Boards are from an ethnic minority background, compared to 12.5% of the UK population.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: “The first step to achieving change is acknowledgement and understanding of where the challenges lie. Now, we must act”.

The Charter

Signatories pledge to:

  • appoint Diversity and Inclusion Executives

  • improve recruitment practices to remove bias

  • support career opportunity and progression for all

  • collect and contribute data on diversity

  • create a respectful and inclusive work environment

  • ensure all line managers are responsible for supporting equity in the workplace.