Carat UK named as Diversity & Inclusion Leaders

We were delighted to be recognised at the Co-op Supplier Recognition Awards last week, where we were recipients of the Diversity & Inclusion Leaders award. This award recognises suppliers who have supported Co-op's 'Responsible Sourcing' strategy and excelled in their commitment to equality and inclusion whilst also championing Co-op's difference.

For the past 18 months, we have worked hard to align Carat UK's DEI ambitions with those of our client, Co-op. Developing an approach to provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds to enter our wonderful industry.  

The last 12 months, has seen us begin to realise these ambitions and develop a partnership with Co-op, that we hope will long continue to provide opportunities within communities.

In January 2021, we engaged Co-op in our network's flagship schools and early employment programme, The Code, inviting senior stakeholders from the brand to set a client brief for our students and donate their time by providing valuable knowledge and insight into the industry. Impressed with the quality of responses received from our students, they signed up to continue their partnership with The Code and have since delivered a joint brief with Mondelēz around community in a true act of co-operation.

We’re already starting to see the benefits of engaging students through media initiatives and as a result have recently employed an account executive through the Global Academy (one of The Code's key partners) into our Co-op account team.

We have also worked with The Guardian to develop a partnership, that has been funded by the Co-op Food business, to amplify young voices. Our aspiring young writers have developed several articles aligned with Co-op's vision around sustainability, access to food and the difference they are making in local communities.

Co-op's partnership with The Guardian Co-op's partnership with The Guardian
Co-op's partnership with The Guardian

Commenting on the award, Claire Costello, Chief Procurement Officer, Co-op, said: "Media agencies have not traditionally been known to be particularly diverse or inclusive, but as an industry leader, they felt responsible to try and change this. We really look forward to maturing our partnership further in 2022."

Grant Burke, Client Managing Director, Carat UK, said: "I am incredibly proud of the team to have received such incredible recognition for diversity and inclusivity. What the team does in this space really goes beyond any traditional scope of work we have with the Co-op, putting in the extra mile every day to deliver on something that they are passionate about. I love the fact that Co-op, as a client, enable us to do this type of work."

Understanding that there is still a long journey ahead, and to ensure that an equal opportunity of employment is available to all , we at Carat have reviewed our recruitment process and expanded our apprenticeships programme to ensure we are inviting the best talent into our organisation, irrelevant of their background, and delivering on the job training and mentoring to give the best possible start to careers. This shift means we no longer mandate a bachelor's degree for entry-level application - something which is common in our industry.

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