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Our founders, the Rochdale Pioneers, built the co-operative movement on the values of democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity in 1844. Since then, we’ve protested slavery and boycotted the products of apartheid. Now, we recognise we need to do more to address the ugly reality of racism.

We won’t stand by when we see racism. We’ll speak out against it, and seek to eliminate the individual, institutional and systemic racial inequalities that exist in our society. We’ve made several commitments to our colleagues, Members and communities that we will follow through on at all costs. We must become an actively anti-racist organisation, and use our voice to educate, lobby governments and push through legislative change. We must empower our Black, Asian and ethnic minority Members, colleagues and communities.

Find out how we’ll do this by reading our commitments to racial equality and inclusion.

Co-op celebrates International Women’s Day by doing what we always do: supporting colleagues of all genders to achieve their potential and helping to create a better, more equal society. With inspirational talks from some of our female leaders and conversations about diversity and inclusion, we’re working hard to build the truly inclusive workplace that is vital for our future success.

Our stories

Disability logo

Our newly formed Represent Network provides a supportive community for disabled Co-op colleagues and promotes fair representation and equal opportunities.

We’re passionate about celebrating our difference, and we’re open to everyone who would like to learn and understand more about our community. We aim to raise awareness, and influence policies and processes to help remove prejudice and unconscious bias from the workplace.

As a Co-op colleague you could join our Represent Network. Contact us at to find out more.

Aspire logo

Aspire is a community of colleagues who are passionate about personal development and gender equality. We’re fully inclusive and welcome colleagues of any gender to join our group.

We’ve been around for over six years now, and some of the things we’ve delivered include our mentoring programme, lunch and learn workshops, roundtable sessions for colleagues to share their career journey, and focus groups on numerous issues. We’ve also developed links to charities which support gender equality in our local communities.

As a Co-op colleague you could become a member of Aspire. To find out more check us out on Twitter @coopukaspire

Respect logo

Respect is a network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) colleagues. We have two simple aims: make sure LGBT+ colleagues can be themselves at work, and promote LGBT+ equality throughout the Co-op and beyond.

We think everyone has a responsibility to create a workplace where all colleagues can thrive. That’s why everyone is welcome to join Respect, whether you identify as LGBT+ or not.

As a Co-op colleague you could become a member of Respect. To find out more check us out on Twitter @cooprespectLGBT

Rise Logo

Rise is a colleague network that focuses on increasing cultural awareness and ethnic diversity within the Co-op.

We know ethnic diversity is good for our business. A diverse company is better positioned to meet the needs of the future economy. And an inclusive organisation that supports and encourages all colleagues to bring their whole selves to work can reap the benefits of diverse ideas, backgrounds and perspectives.

As a Co-op colleague you could become a member of Rise. To find out more check us out on Twitter @Coopukpeople

Youth Logo

Our ambition is to help young Co-op colleagues aged 16-30 shine in their careers by providing opportunities to support their progression: we do this by providing them with training, networking, and development opportunities.

We firmly believe in ‘generations working together’ and invite colleagues from all ages to join the network, get involved in our workshops and events and support young people with their development

To find out more you can sign up for our newsletter by emailing, or join our Yammer group.

Awards and partnership

Co-op has frequently been recognised for its inclusive culture, and we partner with other organisations to make sure we get the best advice and support to help us build a diverse organisation.