Coles Group has been recognised for its continued commitment to closing the disability inclusion gap by Australia’s peak body for workplace inclusivity, ranked number one out of 40 organisations in the Access and Inclusion Index 2023.

Chief executive officer Leah Weckert said the organisation was committed to continuing its momentum in closing the disability inclusion gap for staff, customers and the community.

“Disability inclusion has been part of the Coles Group strategy for a number of years and has made changes across its business to reflect this, most notably in its employment and workforce representation, with 7.6 per cent of the 120,000 team, living with disability,” she said.

Since the last Access and Inclusion Index results in 2021, Coles has made improvements and changes to its in-store accessibility and digital customer accessibility including:

• Expanding Quiet Hour, the low-sensory shopping period in its supermarkets, to five days a week in all stores nationally

• Implementing disability confidence training to customer-facing team members, currently 90.5 per cent have completed training and all new team members are required to complete the training

• Participating in the Australian Disability Network PACE mentoring program, matching 10 people with disability from outside Coles to leaders for career mentoring

• Annual testing of digital experience across the Coles website, mobile app and other digital assets, with a focus group who have lived experience with disability

• Launching an autism support hub for leaders and team members

• Working with customer focus groups to identify opportunities to improve the accessibility of more than 50 Coles Own Brand products.

The Australian Disability Network announced the winners at the recent Disability Confidence Awards, acknowledging organisations that are implementing new initiatives, improving processes, or making systematic changes to their workplaces to become inclusive of employees and customers with disability.

Photo: Holly Greenwood & Rachael Anastas