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Having a diverse and inclusive culture is fundamental to the success of our Co-op.  We need to ensure that we represent the communities we serve, and we want every colleague to come to work and feel as though they belong. That’s why we’re recruiting for a number of Inclusion Managers to join our team.  

Our diversity and inclusion goals 

In 2018, we decided to rethink our approach to diversity and inclusion. We created a clear strategy which is focused on three core priorities: 

  • Inclusive leadership – equipping our 5000 leaders with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to lead diverse teams more inclusively. 
  • Attracting and engaging our colleagues better – ensuring our people processes (recruitment, talent, access to learning and development) are as free from bias as possible. 
  • Inclusive culture – building awareness and educating our 65,000 colleagues about the importance of diversity and inclusion and celebrating what makes us all different. 

We are making great progress, but we have more to do 

Over the last 2 years, we’ve created a movement of over 200 passionate inclusion pioneers and colleague networks – people who help to advocate, share and embed the work we are doing at a local level. 

We’ve also worked with our recruitment team to redesign our recruitment process to make sure that we’re bringing more diverse talent into the organisation. We’re really proud to say that we have created a 50/50 balance of male and female applicants for new hires and have increased our diversity across other demographics by 30%. 

By auditing the rest of our people processes, we’ve been able to identify where bias can occur, and engaged with over 250 colleagues in hackathons and workshops to help us identify what we needed to do differently to fix some of the issues. We now have a comprehensive programme of work to make our people processes and colleagues’ experiences more inclusive. 

We need people who are passionate about diversity and inclusion  

We’re now focussing on building capability in our leaders, and centralising colleague diversity data into our HR system so we can better understand and measure diversity across the business.   

We have a busy and exciting plan ahead, but we need to recruit talented people to help us land the existing plan and embed new behaviours, skills and conversation into the business.  We would love to hear from people who have done something similar, or who have had experience of HR transformation and a real passion for creating an inclusive culture. 

You can find out more about our Inclusion Managers roles here.

Rachael Bickerstaff, 

Head of Inclusion 

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