You are here: Home Environmental Social & Governance What we do Empowering people and promoting diversity

Empowering people and promoting diversity

Fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) organisation is an essential part of WBA’s business strategy. As a major UK employer, we aim to attract, develop, and retain the best talent, offering equal opportunities and building partnerships to empower young people, whilst proactively supporting the personal health and wellbeing of our team members.

We apply a DEI lens to everything we do – whether that’s the inclusive culture we create for our team members, launching a new product, designing a new marketing initiative, or engaging with customers and patients in our stores.  As an inclusive community of valued and representative team members, we champion our customers and patients with a relevant offer and a truly inclusive and accessible shopping experience.

Talented and diverse teams

As a major employer with, we aim to attract, develop, and retain the best talent, offering equal opportunities and building partnerships to empower young people, whilst proactively supporting the personal health and wellbeing of our team members.

Learning, development and careers

We not only encourage people to join us from outside the business and develop great careers with us, but we also invest in developing the talents of all our team members who work for us today.

Gender equity

Boots has a proud history of championing women and today we continue to drive inclusion, champion diversity and promote opportunity for everyone. We publish our Gender Pay Gap report in accordance with the Government’s Gender Pay Gap Regulations here: Boots UK - Gender Pay Gap Report (

Supporting young people into work with The Prince’s Trust

Boots UK and The Prince’s Trust are committed to transforming the lives of young people. Our strategic partnership launched in February 2019 with the intention of empowering the next generation at its core. Together, we provide meaningful opportunities for young people to support them to develop the skills, confidence, and self-esteem to live happy and healthy lives, regardless of background.

Through our programmes we support young people from our communities to get into work. These may be young people who need more support to find work, or young people for whom the traditional recruitment process hasn’t worked.

Employee wellbeing

One in four people in the UK are affected by mental health issues every year, and the pandemic increased the pressure on our team members’ mental health. We seek to support our team members by:

  • Providing our Employee Assistance Programme Lifeworks, which offers around-the-clock phone support, online resources, expert advice and counselling
  • Mental Health First Aiders and mental health awareness training
  • Promoting the 5 Ways to Wellbeing - a set of simple actions team members can focus on to maintain good mental health
  • In Boots Ireland, we’ve partnered with See Change - The National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership - since 2017, joining an alliance of organisations working to change public attitudes and behaviour towards those suffering from poor mental health

The Boots Benevolent Fund

The Boots Benevolent Fund is a registered charity offering support to eligible current and former Boots colleagues in the UK, as well as their immediate relatives and dependants, experiencing financial hardship. It can provide eligible applicants with grants, interest-free loans and/or supermarket vouchers for:

  • Utility, rent and council tax arrears
  • Funeral expenses
  • Essential medical aids
  • Essential white goods and furniture
  • Essential living expenses
  • Bankruptcy and debt relief order fees
  • Rent and deposit if a colleague is homeless or their health and safety is at risk

To request help, current team members can:

  • Call Telus Health, who can be reached by calling 0800 0778316 or online by visiting, USER ID boots, Password care.
  • Complete an application form and send it to along with any supporting documents that are required to support your application.
  • Call or email the Fund team to request an application Tel - 0115 9595166, Email

Former team members:

To apply for support from the Benevolent Fund, please download and fill out the application form here. Simply send the completed form and the relevant supporting documentation via email to If you need further assistance completing the form, please contact the Fund Administrators on 0115 959 5166.


History of the Fund

In the early 1900s the ‘General Benevolent Fund’ was started in the Printing department at Boots as a distress Fund to help in cases of absence from work. Employees considered for benevolent help included those who were absent from work due to illness or domestic reasons and no longer received sick pay, and retired colleagues who had fallen on hard times.

The first year of the Boots Group Benevolent Fund, the total income was £339,000 and provided grants and loans of £256,000. In May 1996 the Boots Benevolent Fund became a registered charity. It fundraised by selling t-shirts, baseball hats and lapel badges in order to raise money and awareness of the newly formed Fund.


How to support and donate to the Fund

The Fund relies on our amazing current and former team members’ help to continue doing the work we do. Making a donation is easy and you can give regularly or as a one-off – it’s up to you.

Giving a one off donation
If you are a former employee, or would like to support the Fund by making a one-off donation, you can donate through Just Giving using the button below.

Donate to the Boots Benevolent Fund

Give as you earn
If you are a current employee at Boots, you can make a donation through Give As You Earn (GAYE). This donation is automatically deducted from your salary. You can sign up to GAYE via the Benefits Box under ‘Charitable Giving – Boots Benevolent Fund’.

Give through your pension
If you are a former Boots employee, you can donate regularly through your pension. Email for further information.

The people behind the Fund

As the Boots Benevolent Fund is a registered charity, it is governed by a board of Trustees who represent all areas of the business. The Trustees have overall control of the charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it was set up to do.

A Fund Manager runs the charity on a day-to-day basis and the Fund Administrators process the applications. There is also a team of volunteers who give their time and skills to support the Fund in numerous ways.

The current Fund Trustees are:

  • Paula Bobbett (chair)
  • Lydia Krzeminski
  • Sapana Mody
  • Mark Kirk
  • Helen Morgan
  • Shezad Alimahomed
  • Emma Vargas-Brock
  • Andy Francis
  • Martin Gardner

Case study: How the fund has helped

A team member fell into rental arrears due to the team member's income being reduced unexpectedly. This caused rental arrears and the team member was very concerned that she would lose her family home.

The Boots Benevolent Fund supported by paying £3000 of the rent arrears and gave advice to help finances ongoing.

Applicant’s feedback

"I just want to say a huge thank you for your help and your support at what has been such a difficult time. You have exceeded my expectations and the support has meant that I have one less worry, which was extremely scary and distracting worry. 

"My landlord who has been amazing is also extremely grateful as this has left her facing hardship.

"Thank you so much. You don't know the significance of how much this means to me, but trust it means a lot. Thank you once again."

A culture of allyship

Fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation is an essential part of our business strategy, making us stronger together to deliver our people and customer ambitions. 

Our DEI strategy is led by our executive DEI steering committee and has three core pillars: 

  • Talented and diverse teams: our teams reflect and understand our customers, patients and the communities we serve
  • Continuously learning: leaders and team memberrs are confident and empowered to champion an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive
  • Inclusive brands and services: we deliver on our customer promise by providing an inclusive and accessible experience

Business Resource Groups (BRGs)

Our employee-led BRGs, supported by an executive sponsor, are empowered to create and promote an inclusive environment by amplifying the voice of their community through awareness, raising events and contributing to relevant strategic business initiatives. 

Allyship and accountability

Recognising we are all accountable for fostering an inclusive working environment and enabled by accessible learning, we aim to create a culture of allyship through better awareness and understanding of both ourselves and the lived experience of others. 

All team members have undergone foundational unconscious bias e-learning and our senior leaders have had additional inclusive leadership training.  Grounded in empathy, this ‘Inclusion in Action’ training helps them to understand how, through their actions and behaviours, the specific role they play in building an inclusive, fair and equitable environment.

Building on the Inclusion in Action senior leader training, our reverse mentoring programme known as, ‘Inclusion in Action Partnership Programme’, aims to increase awareness and build a culture of empathy, allyship and understanding through pairings between our senior leaders and volunteer mentors from underrepresented or marginalised groups.

Inclusive and accessible products and services

We want customers and patients to be able to shop with us in the confidence that their needs are going to be met and we are committed to creating a truly holistic and inclusive shopping experience.

We have a trained Dementia Friend in most of our stores and our store teams have also received training on the Sunflower lanyard scheme, which allows people with a hidden disability to discreetly indicate that they may need additional support.

Our estates team work hard to make sure our store shopping environments are as accessible as possible, but our inclusive approach isn’t limited to our physical spaces.  On, the Recite Me toolbar provides users with options to access the site in a way that works best for them.

We’re committed to ensuring our products and services meet the needs of the diverse customers and communities we serve, and to create equitable opportunities for small and diverse suppliers. As such, we have an ambition to work with the broadest range of relevant potential suppliers, including SMEs and diverse businesses, and to ensure all have a fair and equal chance to compete for opportunities.

In safe hands

We know that our colleagues, customers and visitors put their trust in Boots, which is why the safety of everyone who works for us, visits us and shops with us is really important to our organisation.

We constantly challenge ourselves to make continuous performance improvements in this area, putting robust measures in place to ensure that the safety of colleagues and customers is strengthened.

Safety governance

Our Health and Safety policy aims to protect colleagues, customers, and visitors. It sets out commitment from our senior leaders to always drive for continual improvement while leaning into our core values around care and trust. We monitor health and safety business risks and performance monthly through the Boots UK Governance Committee.

Reporting to this committee are four important strategic groups:

  • The Retail Leadership Team Governance Group is chaired by a store director who helps develop the right safety strategy for stores
  • The Nottingham Site Safety Steering Group is chaired by our VP Property Director for UK & ROI, and ensures that risks at our Nottingham support office site are properly assessed and the right plans are in place to mitigate risks
  • The Opticians Governance committee, chaired by the Managing Director of Opticians who helps develop the right safety strategy for Opticians
  • The Supply Chain Leadership Team Governance group, who helps develop the right safety strategy for warehousing, our Dispensing Support Pharmacy operating in Preston, and our Pharmacy Delivery Service

The UK Governance Committee reports into the Executive Governance Group on a monthly basis.

Primary Authority Partner

We have two safety related Primary Authority partners: Rushcliffe Borough Council for health and safety and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue for fire safety. These partnerships cover Retail Shops, our Warehouses and head office site. Our successful relationships are beneficial to the business by:

  • Validating and perfecting our Health and Safety and Fire Safety risk management systems in Retail and Warehousing functions
  • Control of emerging risks
  • Assistance with proactive regulatory compliance

 This helps us to further strengthen our continuous improvement approach to the safety of our colleagues, customers and visitors.