Equality and diversity
We have a Group-wide policy at Kingfisher for equality and diversity, as well as an equal opportunities policy. Human Resources teams at operating company level implement the policy. B&Q UK and Castorama France have well-established diversity programmes. For example, B&Q UK has been at the forefront of a move to employ older workers for many years.
In early 2012, Castorama France was the first major retail company to be awarded the Label Égalité by the ministry of diversity and equality in France for its proactive and innovative engagement in diversity issues. Its diversity programme is implemented in three main areas: employing disabled people, gender equality and helping retain older people with 'longer career' support. Brico Dépôt France store managers have all been set objectives on employee diversity.
Our IT centre, Kingfisher IT Services (KITS) and our Screwfix business have an employee well-being programme with the Retail Trust, a charity that offers employee assistance for people working in the retail sector. The charity gives their employees a range of free services that includes counselling, legal and debt advice, hardship grants and course funding.
Gender and age diversity
In 2011/12, women accounted for 40% of total employees, 29% of managers and 18% of Board members. A number of operating companies are working to attract and recruit more women by providing flexible working arrangements. For example, B&Q UK's approach goes beyond legal requirements by allowing flexible working requests from all employees (not just those with caring responsibilities). Employees are able to request flexible working from their first day at work.
The proportion of women in management has remained stable for the past three years. We recognise the need to be more proactive in attracting and retaining women at senior levels.
B&Q UK has a long-established policy of promoting age diversity and has led the way, through initiatives such as flexible retirement, in the recruitment and retention of people over 50. In 2011/12, 28% of B&Q employees were over 50, significantly higher than the Group average of 14%.
In 2011/12, the proportion of employees with a declared disability was 2.8%. Brico Dépôt Spain signed an agreement with Red Cross Spain in 2011 to work together to increase the integration of disabled employees into the workforce of its stores.
We report data on ethnicity for the UK only. We are not able to provide a Group-wide figure, as it is illegal in countries like France to ask employees to declare their ethnicity. In fact, there is no common definition of an ethnic minority in certain countries. The proportion of UK employees who declared they were from an ethnic minority was 9% in 2011/12. This aligns with the 8% of UK adults from ethnic minorities (UK Census 2001).