The Calico Group

Ranked No.5 – 2020/2021

The Calico Group are a group of innovative charities and businesses working together to make social profit, rather than financial profit, this is the driving force behind their wide range of high quality services. This year they jumped an astonishing 20 places to rank 5th place on the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List 2020/21 showcasing

Calico’s customers are some of the most vulnerable people in our society; they support people who are in active addiction, give refuge to women and their children fleeing domestic abuse, and offer safe houses to men fleeing domestic abuse. They support homeless people who are suffering from mental health issues or substance misuse. They work in the prisons to help rehabilitation and work with ex-offenders, so they have a contributory life. They support and house refugees fleeing war torn countries. The diversity of Calico’s customers is reflected in the diversity of their colleagues; this helps them understand their customers, empathise with, and know their circumstances so they can support and make a real difference to their lives.

Calico’s “This is Me” Diversity & Inclusion Strategy is easily accessible on their intranet for all colleagues to access. They have “This is Me” networks across the organisation representing colleagues from different communities including LGBTQ+, BAME and YOUTH. The purpose of these networks is to celebrate and champion diversity across the Calico Group and communities through lived experience. Calico have also created an ally programme allowing people who are passionate and fully embrace diversity to support their colleagues and communities. At the One Calico Conference (Calico’s annual conference for every employee in the group) each year, they have speakers from the This is Me groups, demonstrating their contribution to external and internal inclusivity and also the organisation’s desire and commitment to share their diversity commitment with the whole group.

Refresher training on EDI and Unconscious Bias is delivered three times a year at Calico and they measure inclusion across the whole Group on monthly KPIs and then pull these together in an annual report. Previously they identified their employee ratio was on the more aging side, so have targeted young people with an innovative and unconventional recruitment campaign via WhatsApp whereby Calico used job carving; recruiting people and finding roles for them, rather than recruiting to roles. Due to their ageing workforce, Calico continue to tailor their wellbeing offer in response to this through Retirement Planning Workshops, over 40’s health screening and Menopause Workshops.


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