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Let's Do it with Pride

18/03/2020
Natasha Sharma our consultant managing the role

Following LGBT History Month in February, and as LGBT+ Chair, I feel it’s important to share how @Wickes supports my community.

It all started through the passion and drive of one Store Manager. Many businesses have ‘Winning Behaviours’ and we are no different. One of ours celebrates colleagues being ‘Authentic’ and we mean this in every sense of the word. This is why in 2014 when a colleague expressed their desire to take part in Manchester Pride we recognised the importance of this event for people within our business, rallied round and made it happen. Attracting colleagues from all over the business, some within the LGBT+ community, others not, they collaborated on the event and set out to build our first pride float. 

While some LGBT colleagues felt they could be their authentic selves within the business, we knew there was more we could do to ensure everyone felt supported at Wickes. We set out to create a clear agenda for our LGBT+ community, as part of making Wickes inclusive and I am so proud of the progress we’ve made and continue to make. 

Over the past six years there have been a number of key milestones. We formed ‘Let’s do it with Pride’, a colleague network which is dedicated to celebrating and providing support with the aim to create a positive environment which allows colleagues to reach their full potential, together with attracting more diverse colleagues and customers. 

Because of this network, LBGT+ colleagues have felt so encouraged that for the first time they’ve shared personal experiences working for Wickes across our Facebook and Instagram channels. Each experience is different and really shows how far we’ve come. From the wider teams being quick to change pronouns, to those being comfortable to wear their Pride badge, or simply just feeling accepted; to be themselves without fear, prejudice or concern. 

We’ve continued to support Pride events, expanding our activity with both London and Brighton parades, in addition to more local Pride events across the country. Every event is important, as it often surprises people that Wickes is so supportive; if we can change someone's perception of Wickes through Pride attendance and conversation - we’re doing it right. 

What’s more in 2018 we became a Stonewall Diversity Champion. Partnering with the UK’s leading LGBT rights charity has been really significant not just for the colleagues who work with us today but for the ones who will work with us in the future. Our commitment to being a Diversity Champion means we support ten pillars of inclusion; from colleague recruitment to customer and community support. And as a business we submit our progress each year which is benchmarked against over 500 UK companies. 

Last year we introduced our Wickes LGBT+ Allies programme, where the role of the ally is to stand up on behalf of LGBT+ people when they see and hear inappropriate behaviour as well as being an advocate for the LGBT+ community by understanding the issues. We also built and launched the Wickes trans policy, a brilliant new step within inclusivity. This year I am excited to say that we’re rolling out our LGBT+ role model programme which helps LGBT+ colleagues on their next step career wise; this initiative is across all levels. 

I really am proud of what’s already been achieved and I look forward to sharing more updates on our ‘Let’s Do it With Pride’ journey with you in the future. 

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Fresh off the shelf

Joe Cornish, Regional Leader

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Store Operations

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Blogs

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9/15/2020

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What’s your role at Wickes?I am a Regional Leader,  I look after an area of stores across the South East and London. Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you end up working at Wickes?I previously spent 10 years working in the food retail sector in various roles and wanted to try something new and a little bit different. I instantly became addicted to the fantastic culture in Wickes and the opportunities it has brought for myself and my team. I started 4 years ago as a Store Manager and have been a Regional leader since Jan 2020. What makes a typical day at Wickes for you?I spend most of my day visiting my store teams, understanding how their business is performing, and both encouraging and looking for opportunities to improve the shopping experience for our customers, whilst keeping our stores safe and legal. What do you love about your job?Bit of a cliche but genuinely no two days are the same, this has taught me a wide variety of skills and experience. I love talking with a wide variety of people from colleagues to customers, and I enjoy supporting colleagues as they grow towards their future career goals. What makes Wickes a great place to work? What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at Wickes? The inclusivity of our business is our greatest quality, so the best advice I can give is to be yourself, embrace the fun and friendly culture, and be open to both sharing and hearing great ideas from our colleagues.

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George Welsh

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Stefanie, Operations Advisor

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Support Functions

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Blogs

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8/26/2020

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What's your role at Wickes?I am an Operations Procurement Manager. I sit within the Store Operations Department under the Cost Control team. Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you end up working at Wickes?I initially started with Wickes as a part-time colleague in stores whilst I was at University but it soon became clear to me that I wanted to stay on and build my career in Wickes. After earning my degree, I started taking on more roles in-store and became full time. I was exploring my options both in-store and out of stores as I found out that there was a wide variety of roles available within Wickes and that’s how I made my way to the Support Centre. I have now had three different roles within the Support Centre (working my way up within Store Operations) and I’m loving my time with Wickes even more. What makes a typical day at Wickes for you?I’m involved (to varying degrees) in all new stores, refits and all the ranges reviews that take place in stores so you’ll probably find me in a meeting! Joking aside, there is a lot of interacting with our suppliers (building relationships and keeping on top of all the projects going on) and with lots of different teams in the Support Centre. All the while, I have to make sure we’re getting the best work for the best price. It’s such a varied role and you get to talk to and work with so many people. What do you love about your job?It’s got to be the fact I get to interact and work with so many different people. It’s great to be able to meet so many people from teams across the Support Centre. What makes Wickes a great place to work? What advice would you give someone who wants to work at Wickes?I really enjoy the flexibility and the culture Wickes offers. Both in-store and in the Support Centre there is so much opportunity to learn and grow as well as having a life outside of work. Everyone is so supportive and lovely, it’s amazing what you can achieve with the right culture! My advice to someone who wants to work at Wickes is: do it! Jump in with both feet and don’t be afraid to say yes to any and all opportunities that come your way.

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George Welsh

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George Welsh

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