For Weetabix, our gender and inclusion work is about being responsible and doing the right thing, even when no one’s looking. It is a fundamental part of our culture.

A company, whatever sector they might be in, is only as good as the people within it and focusing on your people is a key part to being sustainable for years to come. It is important for all businesses that they focus on not only attracting top talent, but also retaining it. This starts by creating a working environment which encourages people to bring their best self to work every day, so that they can enjoy a rewarding career and keep striving to learn more and improve.

Inclusion is certainly on the radar of companies and employees more than ever before. We are definitely seeing more applicants and recruits asking about how inclusion is managed at Weetabix and what are the inclusive career prospects for anyone who wishes to advance their career at Weetabix. So being honest and transparent about your journey supports an employer’s standing with new applicants.

We want to attract and nurture the top talent and we know that creating a fair, empowering and inclusive workplace culture supports this goal.

Closing the gender pay gap

In the last 12 months, Weetabix Food Company has made further progress in reducing its gender pay gap, closing the median gap to 4.4 percent from 6.6 percent. While it has been a difficult and unique year for the food and drink sector, reducing our gender pay gap is part of an ongoing process to ensure there is no bias in the workplace.

Closing the gender pay gap is just one part of our process when it comes to our gender and inclusion work. While we’re still on a journey to further reduce the gap, we’re pleased with our results and the additional inclusion strategies that we have implemented in the last year.

Gender equality at work isn’t just about pay, and it’s important businesses recognise that there are often underlying factors that contribute to the problem of a pay gap in the first place. We’ve worked hard to address these issues, with policies to create generous parental leave, flexible working, and learning and development that is designed to equip people at all stages of their work and personal lives.

Removing unconscious bias

Like many companies, working towards reducing the gender pay gap is an ongoing process and for many years now we’ve been striving towards ensuring there is no unconscious bias in the workplace. Encouraging career progression from all colleagues and reviewing salaries across the business, regardless of gender, is at the heart of our leadership team’s agenda.

Our inclusion strategy ‘inclusion without exception’ revolves around three main areas. Firstly, ‘Diverse Thought’, ensuring you are building a team of diverse thinkers whilst maintaining a team that is based on talent – this informs recruitment, training and development, and ongoing mentoring. Next is ‘Inclusive Culture’, so educating our people on the importance of being inclusive and having no preconceptions, so everyone is given the chance to be their best self at work. Finally, is ‘Inclusive Workplace’, not only creating an environment that fosters excellence, but also providing a supportive workforce, which weaves into our benefits such as an employee helpline and a return to work programme, as well as promoting mindfulness and looking after the well-being of our people.

Communication is key

In the last year – our inclusion work has centered around communication. We expanded the impact of our inclusion and diversity forum, ‘Inclusion without Exception’, which was set up two years ago to create space for individuals to raise concerns, celebrate successes, educate team members and develop our inclusive culture further.

Third-party inclusion training was set-up for staff, allowing us to have some honest and helpful discussions. Our forum has also helped us to take tangible steps, such as ensuring that our internal signage and communication sensitively reflect the diverse make-up of modern Britain.

We also ran our second inclusion maturity study this year, helping us to listen to our colleagues and give people a chance to share their views, via a series of focus groups on key themes. This has informed our year-on-year plans and will help us to continuously review our inclusion strategy.

Final thoughts

It’s been a challenging year for workplaces and businesses across the country. During the Covid-19 pandemic, taking care of our employees, many of whom are designated by the government as key workers, has been our first priority. We’re proud though that we have continued to make positive impacts through this difficult time, including when it comes to inclusion in the business.

Inclusion should be a fundamental pillar of every company’s people culture. Of course, the ultimate measure of your employer brand is what your current, past and want-to-be employees say about you, in the ‘casual conversations’ with friends and we’re pleased with the feedback we’ve had on our diversity and inclusion journey.

We will continue to set new targets to reduce our gender pay gap even further and we’re constantly reviewing our data, policies and procedures to make sure we don’t have any bias. People do their best work when they are themselves, so we have and will continue to make Weetabix a great place to work for everybody.