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I'm the Head of Sustainability for Nestlé's Confectionery business in the UK & Ireland and I'm responsible for creating the sustainability programme across a wide range of activity areas. From packaging to carbon reduction and responsible sourcing, I ensure we, as a big contributor to the Nestlé global business, play our full part in the company's sustainability commitments. I love the variety in the work that I do, and I learn something new every day in this fast-evolving space.   

How have women supported you in your 20-year career?    

I've had the benefit of working for, and with, many talented women at Nestlé. One example was my line manager from a few years ago. She was a role model in authentic leadership and despite having an extremely demanding role, invested time in me through one-to-one coaching and feedback. Her advice and support helped me flourish and supported my long-term career development.  

How have you supported women in the past? 

Most of my career has been spent in Marketing teams where we tend to have a high ratio of women. I've led teams of women from Commercial Apprentices through to Senior Brand Managers and have always invested time to support, coach and challenge them, making sure they have a strong set of development actions to help them succeed in current roles, as well as prepare them for what might come next. Helping women flourish, demonstrate their potential and achieve promotions to bigger roles is one of the most satisfying aspects of my leadership role.   

What progress towards equity have you seen?  

One thing I know can be a concern for some women is whether career progression can co-exist with flexible or part-time working practices in the context of caring for children. While I think we can still do more, I'm very encouraged by the flexible working practices that Nestlé has introduced in recent years, including flexible work schedules and increasing the number of roles - including senior roles - being undertaken on a part-time basis. The practices and policies are gender neutral which also encourages more men to take on the balance of work and caring responsibilities.    

What advice would you give to rising female leaders? 

I'd give the same initial advice regardless of gender: demonstrate your capability by delivering what you promise; take an inquisitive approach to your work to help you continually learn; find work you enjoy, because your passion and enthusiasm will shine through in what you do and how you do it. Ask for help, advice or support; in my experience, most people gladly give their time to help others. Finally, and it can be easier said than done, especially for some women: have confidence in yourself, knowing you can make a difference every day.