Are you harnessing the power of difference in your teams?
As an industry with a legacy of disproportionate ‘male, pale and stale’ representation in key roles, the retail security and loss prevention sector could and should do more to attract a more diverse pool of talent.
This is one of the key themes to be explored in a panel discussion at the Retail Risk conference at the King Power Stadium, Leicester on 6th October, where retail panellists will be discussing the importance of diversity and inclusion, with a particular focus on retail security teams.
Seeking to take a long overdue view beyond traditional gender and racial stereotypes, the far-ranging discussion will be moderated by D&I consultant Ali Hannon, whose work is focused on delivering tailored equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) interventions and supporting organisations across a number of areas including policy and procedure, recruitment, training and development, strategy, and employee engagement.
The panel discussion will explore a wide range of topics from the ‘fear of getting it wrong’ when it comes to pronouns and ‘mis-gendering’ to how to recruit and retain colleagues who are truly representative of their customers and communities.
Included on the panel will be V Wilkes, global head of security at Primark who has a career spanning more than 20 years in the sector, who said: “We are all finding our own way and all dealing with our own growth. We cannot underestimate the responsibility and role of employers in enabling and supporting every colleague to be their true selves in the workplace.
“I’m always excited to learn and hungry to develop. To make security fit for the future, I believe in building a clear strategy while constantly innovating, progressing, listening, and supporting ideas which drive the business forward. My career path in the security industry has been an amazing journey for me.”
Joining V on the panel is diversity advocate Iona Blake, whose brief covers 2,250 health and beauty stores.
And Raj Chadha, CEO of Total Security Services (TSS), a national provider of security services to the retail and logistics sector who is passionate about ensuring workplaces are fair and free of prejudice, with career development being based on merit, and opportunity for all.
The discussion takes place in the afternoon at the King Power Stadium and has already attracted support from many leading heads of loss prevention and security who are encouraging attending delegates to attend the session.
Paul Bessant, Founder, Retail Risk said: “Over the last two decades, Retail Risk has become synonymous with thought leadership and innovation around the hot topics of retail. And, this year, Diversity & Inclusion is a very hot topic indeed.
“At Retail Risk, Leicester our panel discussion and ensuing roundtable workshop, conducted by senior retailers with extensive experience and real-world expertise, has much thought provoking material to offer retailers. Because getting it right, it seems to me, is not just about good business practice or retaining or attracting people - important though that is. It is about creating a positive business environment in which diverse talent may fructify for the benefit of the entire community. It is not an option... it is mission critical.”