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Inclusion & Diversity

Introduction

We aim to build a diverse workforce and foster an inclusive culture where we’re all supported and encouraged to be our best every day.

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Where we are

We’re striving to be a company where everyone – our colleagues, customers and communities - feels valued, welcomed and that they belong. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far and we know have more work to do. Some of the biggest assets we have are our eight colleague networks - with over 10,000 members, they continue to be instrumental in driving an even more diverse and inclusive M&S. Lots done, lots to do, and lots of opportunity.

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Where we're going

We’re ambitious and will always aim higher to ensure M&S is a place where everyone can be themselves and be at their best so that we can all win together. I&D is a key part of our Business and People Strategies - and we’re committed to hold ourselves to account and be clear on what we stand for. That’s why the priority focus for us is to drive collective accountability to be curious, learn from each other and do what’s right.

To help us do this, and to measure our progress, we have a framework of commitments, KPI’s, objectives and targets which we review and report on regularly.

Our recent achievements

While we're fully focused on the work we still need to do, our colleagues have worked really hard to deliver some significant moments that we're really proud of.

RISE Programme

Our RISE (Recognising In-store Experience) programme is helping to promote diverse talent already within our business, offering them exposure to the many different functions within M&S.

Straight to Stuart

Our suggestion scheme allows colleagues to submit ideas to improve our business straight to our CEO, Stuart Machin. Over 15,000 ideas have been generated so far and we have implemented more than 500, driving growth, innovation and efficiency.

30% Club

We’ve been partnering with the 30% Club, an organisation committed to increasing representation of women on UK boards. Most recently, we’ve been opening up our schemes to all underrepresented groups.

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Colleague support networks

Our M&S networks were started by our people, for our people and are supported by our central Inclusion & Diversity team. They are a great way to meet new colleagues, and offer us the chance to be curious, to listen and learn from others. They also amplify the colleagues voice, helping us understand the experiences of our colleagues and identify opportunities to drive progress together, However you identify, our networks are open and welcoming to all, including champions, allies and supporters.

The Culture and Heritage Network

Celebrating all faiths, cultures and ethnicities, this group promotes racial and religious equality. We create space to discuss, challenge and take action. And we mark key calendar moments  - like Black History Month - to remember the past, promote the present and build for the future. 

The Cancer Network

This is a network driven by personal experiences, with the purpose of ensuring that anyone in the M&S family affected by Cancer feels supported and has access to the information they need.

The Health and Wellbeing Network

This network helps colleagues manage their own mental and physical health. We also support people with disabilities or health conditions throughout M&S. We're a safe place to share your personal journey, coping strategies and top tips.

The Menopause Network

Here, our colleagues can share their concerns, as well as interesting facts and articles. Our aim is to help everyone feel comfortable talking openly about the menopause - providing a listening ear and finding positives in the experience.

The Family & Carers Network

This group represents the different types of families that exist. We act as a support network and sounding board for ideas which help our colleagues as parents or carers. We also run an interactive blog, where you can write your own posts or hear about others' experiences.

The LGBTQ+ Network

Open to all members of the LGBTQ+ community and spectrum (and their allies), we promote equality, celebrate inclusivity and diversity, and encourage everyone to be themselves - whatever their sexual or gender identity.

Forces Community Network

A community of colleagues who are affiliated with the Armed Forces in various ways. We work to support colleagues readjusting to civilian life, to be there for those who have friends or family members in the forces, and to make M&S attractive to those leaving the forces. 

The Gender Equality Network

This group is focused on helping to create a workplace where gender-related challenges are addressed. They raise awareness of common barriers faced and offer support. They also challenge the business to act and empower individuals to ensure that everyone has equal access to opportunities.

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Partners and programmes

When we say we’re going to do something, we do it. That’s why we partner with organisations who are experts in specific areas of inclusion and diversity to ensure what we offer to our colleagues reflects the needs and interests of the communities we serve. Scroll through to view our work with our partners.

Young Minds

We know how much the mental health of young people matters to our customers and colleagues. We’re working together with the charity Young Minds to make a big difference in supporting young people and the adults in their life with practical guidance to prevent mental health struggles reaching crisis point. 

Marks & Start

Marks & Start is our programme that provides training and employability skills to people facing barriers to employment. This is an important part of supporting under-represented groups into work and helping  them progress to senior roles. 

The Albert Kenny Trust

We’ve been working with the AKT since 2019, donating more than £30,000 since launching through Sparks. They’re one of our official Sparks charity partners – so customers can support them to provide safe accommodation, advice and better futures for the LGBTQ+ community. 

The 30% club

30% club is a global campaign to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels. We’ve been part of their 30% Club Cross Business Mentoring Programme since it began in 2014, and this year have over 30 mentees and 30 mentors taking part to develop a diverse pipeline of M&S leaders. 

We're a Disability Confident Employer

We strive to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace. We’re recognised as a Disability Confident Employer (Level 2). This assesses how we recruit and develop our people, through the lens of disability.

Armed Forces Covenant (Gold Status)

This is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve, or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. We support their pledges including: 

- Promoting the fact that we are an armed forces friendly organisation by effectively publicising the Covenant
- Seeking to support the employment of service leavers and veterans young and old
- Seeking to support our colleagues who choose to be members of the Reserve forces
- Supporting the Royal British Legion's nationwide Poppy Appeal in November 

Business in the Community Race at Work charter

We support the Business in the Community Race at Work charter’s five calls to action to ensure ethnic minority colleagues are represented at all levels within business. These include appointing an Executive Sponsor for race, committing at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying, and taking actions that support the career progression of our ethic minority colleagues. 

SEO/London - Sponsors for educational opportunity

We're on a mission to embrace diversity, and whilst we're proud of the progress we've made, there's more to be done. So, we've enlisted the help of SEO/London, who engage with a gender-balanced, ethnically diverse   mix of candidates and deliver superior educational training/mentoring support to young people from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds.

We're a carers confident employer

We're actively listening to what matters to our colleagues, as we continue to build our family time policies. We've successfully achieved our Carers Confident Level 1 certificate, demonstrating that we will support all carers across our business. It also shows our understanding of the legal rights of carers at M&S, and helps colleagues recognise themselves as carers, so we can provide practical support and assist them in combining their work and caring responsibilities.

Evenbreak

In our mission to attract more disabled candidates, we've enlisted the help of Evenbreak, whose mission is ensuring disabled people have the same opportunities and choices to enter, progress and thrive in the world of work as non-disabled people. We're passionate about being an inclusive place to work, and this partnership helps us attract more disabled candidates.

myGwork

myGwork is the global business community for LGBTQ+ professionals, graduates, inclusive employers, and advocates for workplace equality. We've partnered with myGwork to ensure that we're attracting more candidates from LGBTQ+ communities and ensure that everyone feels welcomed and supported to be their best.

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Marks & Start

Marks & Start is our programme that provides training and employability skills to people facing barriers to employment. This is an important part of supporting under-represented groups into work and help them progress to senior roles.

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Jobs for refugees

We welcome applications from refugees and offer a wide range of vacancies across the UK. We recognise the challenges that refugees can face when trying to find work. That's one of the reasons why we provide the opportunities as well as the support that is needed to help you settle into your role with us.

See jobs

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