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The joy of working for Nestlé, apart from the amazing brands, is the even more amazing people. It's why I've stayed here for 21 years to develop my career.
Jo Ward,Head of Workplace and Wellbeing

Meet Jo Ward. As Head of Workplace and Wellbeing she's been helping to keep our employees safe during the pandemic through her passion for mental health.
We sat down with Jo to learn how her Nestlé colleagues have inspired her since joining the team in 2001.

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

My role combines property and facilities management, and health and wellbeing. It may sound like a strange combination but think restaurant and nutrition, gym and physical health and you're on the right track.

I love the variety, from managing our property portfolio, future of workplace discussions and dealing with Covid, to answering the inevitable questions about toilets – it comes with the facilities territory.

I'm really proud of how the team have supported our colleagues over the past two years. The joy of working for Nestlé, apart from the amazing brands, is the even more amazing people. It's why I've stayed here for 21 years to develop my career. 

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?

Have a destination in mind, but not the route. If you plan things too carefully you might miss an interesting diversion – and I'm proof of that.

By not following an obvious career path, I've worked on interesting projects in the UK and overseas and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. That's when I've grown the most.

I always tell new starters to be curious. Nestlé is a fascinating organisation and if you talk to your colleagues and build your network, you'll soon see what opportunities are out there. 

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

I spent much of my pre-Nestlé career in male-dominated workplaces. Colleagues would assume that as a woman I should make the tea and take minutes, I was even asked to make a curtain for the ladies loo. When I followed people's advice to be more assertive it wasn't authentic, so I've learnt to be more me.

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

In my current role, it's so important to create workplaces and spaces where everyone feels that they belong. After two turbulent years, when many employees have been working remotely, my priority has been bringing people back together but in a way that works for all the team. 

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

My mentor in my first job showed me her own inimitable brand of HR and it's been a joy to read her book published during the pandemic. I also have wonderful colleagues at Nestlé who have inspired me for two decades and still do today.

What has been your proudest moment at Nestlé?

Our #ThisIsMe campaign was a huge step forward in our mental health and wellbeing approach. Feeling that I could share my story without prejudice was something I'm incredibly proud of.

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

I'm perfectly imperfect and I'd love to see us all accepting each other for who we really are, not fitting in but standing out in our own unique ways.