The Co-op

Who are The Co-op?

We’re one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. We’re the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer with 2,700 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.

We’re also:

  • the UK’s number 1 funeral services provider
  • a major general insurer
  • a growing legal services business

We have 27 Co-op Academy schools which are all located in under privileged areas.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives and employing nearly 70,000 people, we’re a recognised leader for our social goals and community-led programmes. We exist to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

We plan to be the world’s first supermarket to produce carbon neutral own brand food and drink within 5 years.

The Co-op’s vision is Co-operating for a fairer world and our purpose is championing a better way of doing business for you and your community.

What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are The Co-op involved in?

We are in partnership with InnovateHer who pride themselves on getting girls ready for the tech industry through their educational programmes and getting the tech industry ready for girls through their partner programme.

The Co-op’s Aspire network has been active for 9 years now. It is a network of women and allies that advocates and co-operates for a fairer world for all women, now and in the future, so that women in our Co-op feel welcome, valued and that they can succeed. With over 1,000 members now the network offers a variety of ways to support career development and raise awareness of issues that affect women.

Within Technology we have supported over 30 women on their leadership journey through a bespoke course provided by Tech Returners.

We are also working with our Co-op Academies providing work experience opportunities and showcasing what careers in Technology roles could look like.

Why did The Co-op join WISE?

“Joining WISE and using the 10 steps framework to self-assess where we are on our diversity and inclusion journey helps us focus our attention on activities which will help attract, retain and develop women into our tech community. Helping our teams to be as diverse and inclusive as possible.” 
-Danielle Haugedal-Wilson,  Head of Engineering /Office of the CTO

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