New Diversity Strategy launched by Odeon

Workforce at Odeon

UK cinema chain Odeon, owned by AMC, has launched its new diversity strategy. Entitled ‘Our Incredible Differences’ it places inclusion as a key focus for 2018.

In a bid to improve inclusion within its own workforce, Odeon Cinema Groups has introduced a new diversity strategy. The first of its kind for the UK cinema chain, they plan for this to serve as a long-term action plan.

Entitled ‘Our Incredible Differences’, it launched on 22nd January 2018 in London. While it initially rolls out to UK branches, Odeon will extend it to its network of 14 countries in Europe.

The strategy will celebrate the unique merits of the cinema chain’s diverse range of staff. Recognising their talent and skills, regardless of gender, ethnicity and ability. Meanwhile, it highlights Odeon as a chain committed to improving inclusion.

The AMC-owned company formed ‘Our Incredible Differences‘ after a year-long project of collecting data on diversity. They gathered data through extensive research, focus groups and experimenting with new ideas.

Odeon also implemented training specifically focused on inclusion, while also creating workshops. For example, it launched a pilot ‘Women in Leadership’ event in 2017. Hosted by a team of its female colleague, they discussed diversity, promotion and careers within the chain.

Managing Director Mark Way and CPO Kathryn Pritchard attended the strategy’s launch to explain more behind it. Kathryn explained:

“It’s truly brilliant to have formally launched our diversity & inclusion strategy, and particularly fantastic to have a mixed group of our colleagues championing its development.

“Diversity & inclusion is everyone’s responsibility, no matter their background. Only with it being tackled at every level and in all areas of our business will we have made the progress that enables the talent of everyone to shine.”

Across the 14 European countries, teams will be expected to create and deliver action plans for the strategy. While they will first focus on gender, the teams will extend this to ethnicity and ability – ensuring they celebrate all areas of diversity.

Kathryn added: “We’ll use our ask/listen/plan/act cycle to make sure we continually improve the strategy and keep the conversation going to build our culture of inclusion in 2018.

“We want to make sure all our colleagues feel included and supported, that strong talent is coming through every part of our business and we have the best people in every role. We want everyone to feel comfortable, supported and equally valued in their progression no matter who they are – inclusion for all, not just one group.”

One has to applaud Odeon for their commitment towards diversity. They look set to follow the footsteps of Malteasers, whose advertising campaign also centred around diversity. Its company, Mars, now actually looks to expand this focus in all its brands.

Perhaps through Odeon’s efforts, many other chains will follow their example. Setting up strategy aiming to reflect our diverse UK society.

Image courtesy of Odeon.