John Lewis Partnership new inclusion strategy ensures “black voices are lifted”

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John Lewis Partnership black history month
A black partner advisory group has been created to review products in fashion
// John Lewis Partnership to launch a black partner advisory group to review inclusivity of fashion
// The parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose aims to build a more inclusive company

The John Lewis Partnership will launch a black partner advisory group to review the inclusivity of fashion amid Black History Month.

The retail group announced a series of actions aimed at building a more inclusive company, which includes working with partners from under-represented groups to create a new diversity and inclusion strategy, and set associated targets.

The parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose has already launched a Kindness Rules statement across its shops to state that there will be zero tolerance to discrimination or racism.


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Meanwhile, a reverse mentoring scheme has been launched, where 176 leaders have been partnered up with black partners who provide mentorship, guidance and support.

As well as focusing on partners in the company, a black partner advisory group has been created to review its products in fashion, food and more to ensure they are inclusive and representative for customers.

John Lewis Partnership said the killing of George Floyd four months ago has raised “uncomfortable” conversations and led the company to “reflect deeply on the role we can play to make sure black voices are lifted and listened to”.

“As an Executive Team we committed to provide a safe space for our Black Partners, and by doing so we now have a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

“Over the coming months, we’ll work with Partners from all under-represented groups as we create a new Diversity and Inclusion strategy and set associated targets, to deliver on our commitment to build a truly inclusive business for our Partners, customers, suppliers and the wider community.

“We are not waiting for our strategy to be set to take action. As we said before, there’s no place for discrimination in the Partnership and we’re taking action to make sure Black Partners feel they can be themselves, always.

“This Black History Month we are focusing on education and sharing. There will be many opportunities for us to hear from our Black Partners and we’ll be celebrating the contribution they make across the Partnership.”

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