Coles Group has furthered its commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ people across its workforce and in its stores by partnering with Sydney WorldPride 2023 and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The three-year partnership will see Coles Group becoming the Presenting Partner until 2025. Coles Group will also be supporting Sydney WorldPride’s First Nations Roadshow, and be the presenting partner of Sydney WorldPride’s Sustainability Program.
Coles Group Chief Legal and Safety Officer and Co-Chair of its Pride Steering Committee, David Brewster, said Coles is excited to be the exclusive supermarket partner.
“We have a strong Pride network across Coles, and we’re dedicated to making it even stronger,” he said.
“Mardi Gras is certainly a time for celebration, but our partnership signifies so much more. Research has shown that a disproportionate number of LGBTQIA+ Australians experience poor mental health due to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis of identifying as queer or gender diverse. We are confident our involvement will help to shine a spotlight on this issue, so that LGBTQIA+ Australians and their loved ones can lead happier, healthier lives.”
In a recent survey of over 90,000 Coles team members, close to 10% identified as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, meaning Coles employs more than 10,000 LGBTQIA+ team members and making it one of the largest private sector employers of LGBTQIA+ people in Australia.
Coles Group General Manager Transformation and Supply Chain and Co-Chair of the Pride Steering Committee, Genevieve Hawkins, said Coles is committed to doing everything it can to create a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ people.
“We want to grow and nurture our Pride network to help us enable all of our team members to be their authentic selves,” she said.
“Our sponsorship of World Pride and the Sydney Mardi Gras is a great way to help us amplify the conversation around the value we all get from feeling like we belong.”
Sydney WorldPride 2023 is the first WorldPride ever to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. Running across 17 days with events including Rainbow Republic, Ultra Violet and a three-day Human Rights Conference, the festival is expected to host up to 300 events and see over 500,000 participate.