Inclusive Ownership

We aim to ensure that our Partners’ experience of the Partnership is relevant, consistent and rewarding. Through our diversity strategy, we aim to treat Partners as individuals and to address their specific needs.

Our Diversity Strategy

We aim to ensure that our Partners’ experience of the Partnership is relevant, consistent and rewarding. Through our diversity strategy, we aim to treat Partners as individuals and to address their specific needs.

We aim to operate without discrimination and embrace diversity. Our aim this year has been on recruiting and developing people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages, with a focus on developing the talent of our BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Partners.

We want the Partnership to be representative of the communities in which we operate. Where we see disparities in this, we take action. For example, BAME people are well represented in our Partner population (comprising 15%, which is on a par with their representation in the general UK population).

Currently 8.5% of the Partnership’s management positions are held by BAME Partners, and at more senior levels the proportion is just 3.7%. To address this, we will focus on recruiting and developing BAME Partners to ensure promotion and equal opportunity. The goal is for 10% of our management positions (Level 1-9) to be held by BAME Partners by 2020. We have an established programme of reverse mentoring and have in place mandatory unconscious bias training for all Level 5 Partners and above. It is important that our Partnership has a culture in which people can be themselves and thrive. We have made unconscious-bias training and diversity e-learning available to Partners to let them consider how we nurture a more inclusive culture in our business.

Gender diversity of the Partnership
  2015 2016
  Male Female Male Female
Partnership Board 60% 40% 67% 33%
Directors and Management Board members 71% 29% 71% 29%
Senior Managers 55% 45% 54% 46%
All other Partners 42% 58% 42% 58%
All Partners 43% 57% 43% 57%

Ethnicity of senior manager population (levels 1-5)
  2015 2016
White 91.3% 91.1%
Asian or Asian British 1.8% 2.1%
Black or black British 0.2% 0.3%
Chinese or other ethnic group 0.5% 0.5%
Mixed origin 0.8% 0.8%
Not given 5.4% 5.1% 

Further Partner data can be downloaded here (PDF 92KB).


'Our Think, Evolve, Network aims to help Partners think about gender. It enables us to learn from others, both inside and outside of the Partnership. We now have more than 750 members, and have had one-third of these attending events in branches. And in our Bracknell and Victoria branches, speakers have included Baroness Hogg, Edwina Currie, and Sir Roger Carr among others. These events have helped to start conversations about gender in the workplace, such as on flexible and part-time working, and maternity and paternity leave.'

Jane Barnett-Roberts, Head of Democratic Engagement, Group

Partner celebrating Pride at John Lewis Oxford Street

Our Diversity Networks

Growing the Partnership’s networks has been one of the key priorities for diversity and inclusion during 2015. We now have four Partner networks with over 1,200 members. These cover areas as diverse as faith and beliefs, to women in the workplace. These currently include Pride in the Partnership (the LGBT+ network), our Faith and Belief network, Unity (the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic network), and TEN: Think.Evolve.Network (the gender network). These networks offer a new way for our Partners’ voice to influence the business.

Diversity and Inclusion are intrinsic to the 4Ps and will be at the core of our actions to implement the new framework. For example, we will be reviewing our approach to equal pay, balancing productivity with individual flexibility, and creating a diverse pipeline of Partners for the future.

We have a desire and a responsibility to ensure that people with disabilities are supported in their employment with us. Our reasonable adjustment process is informed by the Equality Act 2010. This states that businesses must take reasonable steps to accommodate people with disabilities in the workplace. We began work in 2015 to improve our process for accommodating Partners with disabilities. We have worked with the Business Disability Forum to ensure this process is robust, and we expect to conclude our work on this in 2016.



'Our LGBT+ network gives Partners access to a community defined by identity and values. It helps Partners access support, extend their professional and social networks, and form a collective voice to join the debate. This year, we celebrated our biggest Pride in London yet, and recruited regional reps, extending
the reach of the network.'

Phil Harrison, Buying Assistant, Tablets and Computing