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Everyone should be able to bring their whole self to work and know that there is support if they need it.
Courtney Beckett,Line Technician Confectioner

Courtney Beckett works as a Line Technician in York and is set to start a new role in Manufacturing Excellence. As the first female union representative for 20 years at our factory in York, she shared her opinions on what we can all do to make our workplaces more inclusive.

What excites you most about your role and working for Nestlé?

What I really enjoy is knowledge sharing, whether it's helping others to use our systems or learning something new myself. We have a wealth of knowledge and insight in the factory, so having the opportunity to learn from those people is something to take advantage of.

What has been the best advice you've been given in your career? Do you have any top tips of your own for new starters?

There are four bits of guidance that come to mind. First, the effort you put in, you'll receive back. Second, to occupy space at the table and third, never stop being curious. And lastly, kindness costs nothing.

The theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. Have you faced any biases in your career and how have you handled them?

Bias to me means making a choice or forming an opinion based on personal preferences, stereotypes and previous experiences. When I first started in my role, I found that people would ask for my male colleagues' opinions over my own. I think women still face stigma in the workplace, especially in male-dominated, industrial environments such as factory floors, and when working with machinery and tools, which are viewed as masculine things to do.

I want to inspire people to think differently by being involved in initiatives such as Respect at Work. I've helped support the business to develop and deliver training to my colleagues on the shop floor but also to the staff and manager group too. It's my duty to challenge bias where I can, including my own.

Are you involved with any of Nestlé's inclusion and belonging initiatives?

I am an Equalities Officer for the GMB Union. They're recognised widely across the York factory and work closely with HR to deliver initiatives for National Inclusion Week.

Last year, I held digital drop-in sessions to support people with their online skills and I've been heavily involved with Respect at Work, representing the York site staff at a national equalities conference. Inclusion and belonging are important because everyone should be able to bring their whole self to work and know that there is support if they need it. We should all feel welcome in our workplaces.

Is there anyone that inspires you, either personally or professionally?

I am inspired by my Aunty Martine. She is strong, capable and hardworking. She has so much love to give and never fails to give it to those who need it the most.

What has been your proudest moment at Nestlé?

Being the first female union rep in 20 years at the Nestlé York factory made me extremely proud. It was a win for gender equity in the workplace.

What one thing would you like to see more people doing to be more inclusive?

We should be able to talk about menopause, to say the word tampon and be able to talk about period pain. These words aren't dirty or taboo. I'd like to see symptoms and issues related to these areas being taken seriously, especially in the workplace.