When applying for my role here, the first thing that attracted me was that I’d be working on the biggest new store development programme in the country. I’m a Regional Location Analyst, which means that I’m responsible for finding great locations for our new stores. They’re central to our success as a business, so it’s great to be involved in something so important.
I know it sounds like a cliché, but I love my job because no two days are the same. During my time here I’ve assessed sites in central London, rural Scotland and everywhere in between.
Putting community first
The other thing that made me want to work here was Co-op’s focus on communities. Through the Local Community Fund we give back to thousands of good causes across the country, including LGBT+ organisations like Liverpool City Region Pride and Mosaic Trust. It’s important to me that the business I work for is outwardly supportive of my community.
Every year we support dozens of prides across the country and all colleagues, no matter how they identify, are invited to get involved. Before the pandemic, I used to walk with Co-op in the Manchester Pride parade. It’s such a great day out and I feel so supported by my colleagues, I hope to do it again one day soon.
I can be myself at work
I could never work somewhere where I had to had to hide the fact that I’m gay, it’s a huge part of who I am. The Co-op puts a big emphasis on being yourself at work and that’s really liberating for me. I can just focus on doing a good job, rather than worrying about what people think.
When it comes to the property industry, I think we’ve come a long way in recent years. It’s important that we showcase the diversity that already exists as, after all, you can’t be what you can’t see. We all need to spread the word on the benefits of an inclusive environment and really promote what is being done to make the industry more inclusive.
The journey towards endless inclusion
Support also goes well beyond our workplace culture. We’ve got an active LGBT+ colleague network, we take part in Stonewall’s annual Workplace Equality Index and all our colleague policies are inclusive. There’s a real commitment to putting inclusion at the heart of everything we do and to keep on making the Co-op an even better place to work for everyone.