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BRC calls on retailers to make ‘meaningful change’ through D&I strategies

By Rachel Douglass


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Credits: Image: Leeds High Street via Unsplash

A report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has found that 66 percent of retailers in the UK have no specific targets when it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I), prompting the organisation to urge for more “meaningful change” in this area.

Titled ‘Diversity and Inclusion in UK Retail’, the report, made alongside The MBS Group, did note that 93 percent of retailers had implemented a strategy to improve diversity and inclusion across their business, yet 30 percent of boardrooms remained all white.

Additionally, it was also noted that the industry lacked disabled role models, with only 17 percent of retailers able to identify one disabled leader in their organisation. This was despite 80 percent of retailers stating that they put a focus on disability in their D&I strategies – up from 50 percent in 2021.

Improvements had been in social mobility, however, where 65 percent of businesses claiming the element was in their strategy, compared to the previously reported 20 percent.

The report further analysed where barriers fell in place when improving D&I, with issues cited including lack of data, insufficient resources and potential backlash from some employees.

In a release, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC, said: “I’m so encouraged to see so many retailers gearing up their D&I activity and the breadth it covers across all diversity characteristics, but the progress we’ve made so far hasn’t sufficiently shifted the dial.

“I know this will take time, but equally, we must not rest on our laurels. While the will is there, until every individual - no matter their background – feels they can reach their true potential in the workplace, we are failing.

“It’s time to double down on assessing the impact of activities. We need to continually assess if what we’re doing is working, and if it’s not, what else can be done.

“Nonetheless, I am confident that we can deliver the change we aspire for, and I am excited to see the industry rise to the challenge.”

British Retail Consortium