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3 minutes with - Leng Montgomery

Published: 10 July 2018 Tags: Inclusion, Diversity, Sainsbury's By John Walding

This week we touch base with Leng Montgomery, Diversity and Inclusion Executive at Sainsbury’s to find out a little more about his role at one of the country's largest supermarket chains.

Tell us about your role at Sainsbury’s?

I work in the Diversity and Inclusion team and lead on LGBT and Carers for the group which includes Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat.

What are the biggest challenges facing companies such as Sainsbury’s when it comes to diversity?

We’re really fortunate to have such a large and diverse workforce. In some of our stores over 30 languages are spoken and one of the best things about working in retail is that we literally have people from every single community and walk of life working with us.

At Leeds Pride last year over 500 Sainsbury’s and Argos colleagues marched through the city, literally turning the city orange and red!

A challenge we find is something many businesses of our size face and that is how to keep a very dispersed workforce engaged.

Aside our many hundreds of stores, we have a large supply chain, depots, offices in almost every town in the UK. We also have a bank!Hence why it’s hard to engage with everyone in the same way but technology and our colleague network groups play a major part in us to remain connected, share messages and also participate in activity in different locations.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I was nominated in the British LGBT Awards this year under the Corporate Rising Star category and was in the Top 10.

I have felt that any success that I have celebrated has been a team effort as I work not only with my direct team but with colleagues from our network groups, board members, and other stakeholders both internally and externally. Any success I have had is also down to others playing a part in this and us all working together collaboratively.

If you had one piece of advice for a business or company looking to implement a more diverse culture what would it be?

I would encourage organisations to be bolder about its commitment to inclusion and diversity. Particularly if they state that they have passionate values around that. It needs visible signalling that this is the case.

Usually the more that a company signals this it has a positive reaction to both customer, client and colleague.