Coles has unveiled the theme behind its partnership with WorldPride and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: ‘Everyone is welcome at our table’.
The retailer’s inaugural float will parade along Sydney’s Oxford Street this Saturday (25 February) led by drag queen MisTy del Ray, who was crowned Miss Gay Australia in 2019 and is also a “proud and loved” Coles store manager from Hobart.
Joining MisTy in the parade will be Coles team members from all over the country who \have their own unique story and connection to the Pride community.
Excited to be part of the celebrations is Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer and Co-Chair of the Coles Pride Steering Committee David Brewster who has championed the Pride network at Coles for over five years.
“Our strong presence at WorldPride demonstrates Coles Group’s commitment to Pride inclusion for our team and customers,” he says.
“The Coles family table is a big one. We are one of Australia’s largest employers with almost 130,000 team members – and over 20 million customers transactions a week – and around 10% of our team members identify as being LGBTQIA+. A table of that size comes with a lot of diversity – different backgrounds, different experiences, and different perspectives – all working towards a shared goal of inclusion.
“Our partnership with WorldPride is first and foremost about the wellbeing of our team members and the millions of customers they serve each day and demonstrating our support for diversity and inclusion. We want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves at work or shopping in our stores and our aim is to support positive mental health outcomes.”
Customers can show their support for WorldPride 2023 by purchasing a recyclable and reusable ‘Everyone is welcome at our table’ paper shopping bag. Coles will donate 30¢ from every sale to its partner Pride Cup.
The WorldPride 2023 partnership is just one part of Coles’ wider strategy of diversity and inclusion.
Last year, the company announced 10 days paid leave to team members undergoing gender affirmation and launched the Pride In Health & Wellbeing Coles Grant Scheme.
It also has a strong focus on its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members who identify as being part of the Pride community.
In addition, Coles has existing partnerships with Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras, Newcastle Pride Festival, Port Douglas Pride, Pride Fest WA and The Daylesford Chillout Festival.