New CEO diversity pledge signed by Co-operative Group, M&S and PageGroup

The CEOs of some of the UK’s biggest firms have joined forces in a historic partnership aimed at “moving the dial on diversity” – in a bid to create more inclusive workforces up and down the country.

The chief executives/SVPs of the Co-operative Group, M&S and PageGroup have founded the movement and are some of the first signatories on the ‘CEO Activist & Moving the Dial on Diversity Pledge’, which will drive action to better engage and support all underrepresented groups within business.

Each of the three leaders signed the agreement in partnership with DIAL Global – a diversity & inclusion accelerator that powers business growth through specialist knowledge, advice & expertise.

Steve Murrells, Group CEO of the Co-operative Group; Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks and Spencer; and Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, have also signed an open letter outlining how they want the pledge to be an action-orientated movement that will multiply its impact beyond their own workplaces.

Their actions have already inspired a range of other businesses to join the pledge, with leaders from nine other organisations making the same commitment. Alfa Financial Software, Fresenius Kabi, HH Global, IPSOS, Lexis Nexis, Lucky Generals, Rugby League World Cup, Superdrug and Unilever have all added their names to the list.  

The CEO Activist & Moving the Dial on Diversity Pledge focuses on four key areas, which are:

  • Ensuring workplaces are inclusive with clear steps to ensure current and future leadership team diversity
  • A commitment to measure progress annually against 10 areas of diversity and inclusion, which were first introduced in 2020 through an inaugural report from the McKenzie-Delis Foundation
  • A promise to implement strategic diversity plans with clear accountability for CEOs and their leadership teams
  • A commitment for each CEO to share their learnings and strategic plans for the future

Leila McKenzie-Delis, Founder of DIAL Global and The McKenzie Delis Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have these three remarkable and high-profile CEOs on board with us as founding partners.

“As leaders of some of the UK’s largest corporations, they manage hundreds of thousands of employees and play a critical role in driving action to ensure that diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity are core themes of workplace culture.

“Through our work, we have committed to authentically move the dial by taking a holistic approach to the various facets of diversity in order to create a more equitable society.

“Along with these three CEO Activists and all the other organisations that have already signed the pledge, we will all work together to be real models for open, authentic, evolutionary conversation to drive action and give a voice to all.”

Steve Murrells, Group CEO of the Co-operative Group, said: “This is an important step towards creating diverse and inclusive workplaces for all our colleagues where they feel a true sense of belonging.

“Collectively, as CEOs and leadership teams, we know that more must be done and each of us has a responsibility to be role models and agents of change to drive true inclusion throughout our organisations, our products and services and the communities we serve.”

Steve Ingham, CEO of PageGroup, said: “We recognise that diversity and inclusion are multifaceted issues.

“Through this movement, we want to tackle these subjects holistically, and better engage and support all underrepresented groups within business. We also want to unlock potential, to ensure that workforces are truly diverse and inclusive.”

By coming together in this way, the three organisations hope to use their influence, experience and public platforms to encourage more than 100 other UK CEOs to sign the pledge before December 2022.

The launch of the pledge comes ahead of the second report from the McKenzie-Delis Review – a comprehensive review of UK corporate workplace diversity and inclusion – which is due to publish in Spring 2022.

While other reports focus on a single facet of diversity, such as gender or ethnicity, it is the first review of its kind to take a holistic approach to diversity and inclusion by providing a comprehensive review of how employers are addressing and prioritising their efforts across 10 facets of workplace diversity and inclusion.

Those are: Race & Ethnicity, Gender, Age & Generation, Nationality, Mental Health & Wellness, Sexual Orientation, Socioeconomic Status, Disability & Neurodiversity, Religion or Belief, and Parenthood & Caring.


For more information about the CEO Activist & Moving the Dial on Diversity Pledge, visit

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