The inaugural Diversity in Wholesale conference recently concluded with various figures from all walks of life sharing stories that inspired, supported and promoted diversity, inclusion and equity in the wholesale sector.
Here are eight key takeaways from the event:
1. With only 50% of people with a disability in wholesale saying that they feel they have an equal opportunity to succeed, Helen Cooke, chief executive of Myplus (pictured above), outlined a four point plan for wholesalers to make sure they are implementing the correct procedures.
2. HR Star managing director Kelly Tucker discussed the benefits of a ‘squiggly career’. She encouraged wholesalers to take their company values and to make sure they are ‘threading them through their people processes.’
3. Nic Storey, sale senior director of impulse at PepsiCo (pictured right), outlined how the company’s ERGs are structured and implemented, with each of the six facets possessing their own hierarchical structure and calendar of events.
4. HR and training manager at Parfetts, Holly Pennington (see below), discussed her previous difficult experiences and how being brave enough to have difficult conversations helped her in her career in the long-term.
5. ‘It’s always been about deliverance and results first’ said Vipin Patara, as she took delegates her journey from arriving in the UK at the age of 18 with English not being her first language, to becoming managing director of SOS Wholesale.
6. Ellie Krupa, customer director at Premier Foods (pictured left), outlined the company’s I&D statement of intent and how it goes about fostering an inclusive LGBT+ friendly company through strong leadership, an inclusive culture, recruitment, and ways of working.
7. Megan Berkinshaw, Fareshare’s employer engagement manager, outlined how a diverse workforce creates access to a greater range of talent, increases creativity and inspires new marketing strategies.
8. Co-chairperson Jason Finch, director of We are Unicorn (pictured below), offered his take on some of the issues the wider LGBTQ+ community faces day-to-day in wholesale, using examples of seemingly innocuous moments that often hold profound implications.