Coles Group ranks number one in access and inclusion for Aussies with Disabilities

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

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

As the top performer in the Access and Inclusion Index 2023 – jumping from third place to first in two years – Coles Group continues to demonstrate its commitment to making its workplace, culture, services, and products welcoming, accessible, and supportive of people with disability.

Coles Group Chief Executive Officer Leah Weckert said the organisation was incredibly proud of its ranking in the Index and was committed to continuing its momentum in closing the disability inclusion gap for its team members, customers, and the communities it serves.

“Disability inclusion has been an integral part of the Coles Group strategy for a number of years and we are delighted to have made changes across our business to reflect this, most notably in our employment and workforce representation, with 7.6% of our 120,000 team members identifying as living with disability,” she said.

“While we are proud of our growth in this area, we are committed to further improving the representation of our workforce who have disability, and supporting their development by providing them with the tools to progress their careers at Coles.

“The Australian Disability Network’s Index is an important benchmark, and sets the tone for Australian organisations to continue to implement improvements and initiatives that help close the disability gap – no matter what rank you achieve.”

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

  • Expanding Quiet Hour, the low-sensory shopping period in Coles supermarkets, to five days a week in all stores nationally.
  • Implementing Disability Confidence Training to customer-facing team members. Currently 90.5% of team members have completed training and all new team members are required to complete.
  • Participating in the Australian Disability Network PACE Mentoring program, matching 10 people with disability from outside Coles to our talented leaders for career mentoring.
  • Annual testing of Coles Group’s digital experience across the Coles website, mobile app and other digital assets, with a focus group of Australians 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 Own Brand products.

The Australian Disability Network, which has more than 460 member organisations, helps businesses improve access and inclusivity in the workplace and remove barriers that limit employment and career progression for people with disability.


What is Coles involvement with the Access & Inclusion Index?

  • Under Coles’ Diversity & Inclusion focus in the area of Accessibility, it has publicly committed to take part in the Australian Disability Network’s Access and Inclusion Index to make sure it’s always working to improve its inclusion score.
  • Coles submits a Self-Assessment to the A&I Index every two years and has fulfilled its commitment to improve its score each time as per below:
Year AND score (/100)Average score of other organisations
Index score 2023701/4020
Index score 2021 723/2636
Index score 2019638/2444
Index score 2017 441038

Holly Greenwood and Rachael Anastas

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