A Message from our sponsor
date: 28.04.2021

I’d like to introduce you to The Unity at Next Employee Network Group. The Unity at Next Employee Network Group has been formed by colleagues from a variety of race and ethnic backgrounds to represent the ethnic diversity within Next. I am delighted to have been asked by the Unity Network Group to sponsor them on behalf of Next.

I am pleased to say that Next has an open, welcoming and inclusive culture which has resulted in the diverse group of colleagues and friends we all work with on a daily basis. However, the world around us is constantly changing and these changes can affect the variety of communities and minority groups here at Next in different ways.

Employee network groups enable a connection with our diverse communities to understand and respond to their life experience, particularly when here at Next. In addition, employee network groups have a vital role in providing a safe place to go for members of any minority community at Next. The turbulent events of the last twelve months have had, and continue to have a profound effect  on many of our colleagues represented by the Unity Network, the group will now provide a place for them to come together, support each other and communicate with Next.

Diversity is highly valued in Next, we understand that talent does not appear in a specific form, talent is present in every element of our society, we recognise this in Next and have benefited from selecting and promoting on the basis of skills and capability. All of us must ensure that this remains the case.

Diversity also brings a variety of views, opinions and experience that is hugely important to what we do and reflects all of the communities in our customer and supplier base. To benefit from this knowledge and experience, all of us must be ourselves at work. To support this, we all have a role in understanding and accepting differences in those around us regardless of background.

The formation of the Unity at Next Group is a great start in helping us to develop the experience of working at Next for our colleagues from diverse race and ethnic communities. We have an exciting journey planned. This will include education, to increase our awareness of all aspects of diversity, developing our employee data to help us understand the experience of working at Next for different groups and building relationships with external representative bodies to support us in continuously improving diversity and inclusion within Next.

Finally, I do not want to steal all of the Unity at Next Groups thunder, so I will leave it to them to explain their mission and objectives and just say that I am thrilled to welcome the Unity Group to Next.

Lionel Mason

Group HR Director