Simon Roberts
A Chief Executive Officer’s perspective

Our colleagues are at the heart of everything we do at Sainsbury’s and their dedication to helping and serving our customers is so vital to our success. We are committed to being a truly inclusive retailer, where all our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where all our customers feel welcome. It’s why it is so important to me, and all our leaders, that Sainsbury’s reflects the communities we serve.

We have dramatically increased the percentage of women in leadership over recent years. In 2020’s FTSE Women Leaders Review, we had 38.6% women in leadership positions, growing to 47.5% in 2021, securing us 4th place last year. This year, I’m delighted we’ve increased our representation to 50.7%, placing Sainsbury’s third in the league table.

We are encouraged by the progress we’re making and by the positive impact this change is having on our business performance. Over half of our Operating Board members, including those with the biggest P&L roles and critically those who lead the biggest teams, are now women.

In our experience, diverse leadership teams build deeper trust, have more open and direct discussions, ultimately achieving more impactful and successful business outcomes. I believe that the most effective way to drive bold and positive change in our business has been to appoint more women to the most visible roles that impact the most people. Our Food Commercial Director, GM Commercial Director, Chief Retail and Technology Officer, and now our first female CFO all lead and work with thousands of people.

The good news is a positive ripple effect is still to come, which will lead to more engaged colleagues and in turn, better outcomes for our customers. The more we build diverse leadership teams, the greater the scale of impact and positive change we see.

Of course, we continue to learn all the time. The progress we have made is down to the work our teams have done in removing barriers so we increase diversity at all levels of the business, including at store manager level. We knew we had to be progressive to truly move the dial, reimagine how we operate and be intentional about continuously growing talent to deliver and drive our transformation.

We have set ambitious targets against Gender and our leaders have an inclusion goal within their business objectives which they are bonused against, we consider this best practice. The FTSE Women Leaders Review shines a light on the progress being made towards gender equality and I hope this year’s report inspires us all to be bold and act with pace in achieving that goal.

February 2023