Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Coles number one in disability inclusion

Coles Group has been recognised for its commitment to closing the disability inclusion gap.

Announced at the Disability Confidence Awards, the Australian Disability Network ranked Coles number one out of 40 organisations in the Access and Inclusion Index 2023.

As the top performer in the Index, jumping from third place to first in two years, Coles says it continues to demonstrate its commitment to making its workplace, culture, services, and products welcoming, accessible, and supportive of people with disability.

Coles Group CEO Leah Weckert says the retailer is incredibly proud of its ranking in the Index and is committed to continuing its momentum in closing the disability inclusion gap for its team members, customers, and the communities it serves.

“Disability inclusion has been an integral part of the Coles Group strategy for a number of years, and we are delighted to have made changes across our business to reflect this, most notably in our employment and workforce representation, with 7.6% of our 120,000 team members identifying as living with disability,” she says.

“While we are proud of our growth in this area, we are committed to further improving the representation of our workforce who have disability and supporting their development by providing them with the tools to progress their careers at Coles.

“The Australian Disability Network’s Index is an important benchmark and sets the tone for Australian organisations to continue to implement improvements and initiatives that help close the disability gap – no matter what rank you achieve.”

Since the last Access and Inclusion Index results in 2021, Coles says it has made a number of improvements and changes to its in-store accessibility and digital customer accessibility including:

  • Expanding Quiet Hour, the low-sensory shopping period in Coles supermarkets, to five days a week in all stores nationally.
  • Implementing Disability Confidence Training to customer-facing team members. Currently 90.5% of team members have completed training and all new team members are required to complete.
  • Participating in the Australian Disability Network PACE Mentoring program, matching 10 people with disability from outside Coles to our talented leaders for career mentoring.
  • Annual testing of the retailer’s digital experience across the Coles website, mobile app and other digital assets, with a focus group of Australians who have lived experience with disability.
  • Launching an Autism Support Hub for leaders and team members.
  • Working with customer focus groups to identify opportunities to improve the accessibility of more than 50 Own Brand products.

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