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How D&I can improve your business culture

A supportive and inclusive culture directly fuels innovative thinking and the bottom-line in all organisations. Retail businesses of today are beginning to shift to a more gender-diverse leadership group, with more women entering into and thriving within the retail sector. If businesses support this transition, it will mean that they will become more attractive to all top candidates that are looking for a forward-thinking organisation to work for. So, what are the key challenges that retail organisations are facing in terms of improving their business culture, and how can you tackle them to improve it?

A lot of retail businesses are keen to adopt a more diverse culture, and depending on the organisation in question, the diversity and inclusion (D&I) offering is starting to head in the right direction. The fashion industry has always been ahead of the times in terms of supporting a positive gender split across the sector. This has begun to encourage the rest of the retail industry to be more inclusive at the senior level, which links down to the rest of the organisation and begins to change perceptions in an entire sector. 

The effects of culture fit and D&I

The pressure on businesses to become more inclusive and diverse has meant that leaders have had to look at their approach and strategy, and reflect on how they are positioning themselves in the market in relation to these. The candidate-led market and the skills shortage has made other retail organisations more open to broader searches to find the skills sets they are looking for.


The retail sector has seen challenges in today’s market. The offering for dynamic working has been difficult to adopt for businesses as they believe that the drivers of the business are in the office. Managers and business leaders typically see it as difficult to work cohesively when people aren’t in the office or are working different hours to the rest of the team. Communication is crucial, so the barriers that businesses are facing when navigating a dynamic working setup whereby people need to have a clear line of reporting, can be difficult to overcome.

Typically, retail organisations don’t offer flexible or dynamic working to their employees. However, this should begin to shift. Top talent is looking for organisations who recognise and respect the fact that they have a life outside of work. However, as more senior women come up in the ranks within retail organisations, it is more likely that this will happen. Women are keen to create an environment where returning mums feel able to excel, enjoying their life as a mother to their children while fulfilling their career aspirations at the same time. 

The importance of D&I in the retail sector

All businesses need to have a comprehensive D&I programme, which ensures that everyone is able to work to their full potential and feel able to contribute their ideas when they come into the office. If your business is portrayed as one that does not support an inclusive culture, the word will quickly spread and you will find it difficult to find top industry talent wanting to join your team.  

We are increasingly seeing candidates asking about diversity and inclusion programmes throughout the recruitment process. A positive company culture breeds good ideas and positive responses in business. 

Some of the things that you can use to attract top talent to your organisation are:

  • A comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy.
  • Opportunity to progress internally.
  • Flexible and dynamic working.
  • Training and development programmes.


Retail professionals are highly sought-after and highly skilled at what they do. Therefore, the transferable skills that the top professionals will have developed over time in their career will be invaluable to another organisation who can offer them the things that a typical retail organisation cannot. Therefore, if you want to attract top talent and retain them in today’s ever-changing market, it is crucial to make the relevant changes and adopt new strategies in the process.

If you are interested in hiring in the retail sector, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today for a confidential discussion. Alternatively, why not find out more about the true cost of hiring the wrong candidate in the retail sector?

Katie Watson
Managing Consultant, Michael Page Retail
T: 020 7269 2451