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I currently work as a Shopper Activation Manager within the coffee division, which means I look after the strategic planning and execution of point of sale, making our coffee brands visible in store and online to showcase their great value offerings to consumers. I really enjoy what I do because it brings the category strategy to life within retailers. I love that I get to see the activations live in store and take pride in knowing that I worked on their creation to support the 'shopper journey'. 

You've taken part in reverse mentoring at Nestlé. What did that involve? 

During my time in Sales, I volunteered as a mentor in the reverse mentoring scheme. It involved members of the Sales Leadership Team being mentored by salespeople with personal experiences of different topics surrounding inclusion and belonging, including gender equity, LGBTQ+, parenting, eradicating racism and disabilities. I chose to be a mentor on disability, as I have a visual impairment and was keen to educate others on how the workplace can be made more inclusive for those with disabilities.  

The sessions gave me the opportunity to share challenges that are often faced by those with disabilities and how Nestlé can take steps to support them. One key conversation we had was how the biggest barrier to creating an inclusive environment is that people are often afraid to say, or ask, the wrong thing due to not knowing the right words to use, especially if it may be perceived as sensitive or awkward to talk about. We discussed how a manager could support creating an inclusive culture by actively opening conversations and being honest about the topics that they were unsure of and learning from their employees around them.  

Tell us more about your involvement with NestAbility: 

NestAbility is one of the inclusion and belonging networks in Nestlé UK & Ireland. The aim of the network is to raise awareness of the impact of disabilities on people's lives within the business, to help accelerate positive change to the working environment, and ensure that we are intentionally inclusive. After joining the network as an ally, I wanted to be actively involved so volunteered as a stream lead, specifically looking into the policies, tools and guidance that Nestlé has or should have in place to support employees with disabilities and those around them. This is something that the network will continue to work on influencing through 2023 and one that I will continue to support to increase its visibility.  

What's been your experience of female support at Nestlé?  

The team that I currently work in happens to be a team of women. I feel that we have built up a really great team environment where we actively promote women supporting women by encouraging each other to reach our goals and celebrating our successes in our meetings. We always start our team meetings by sharing our highs and lows to check in on each other and understand where we can all lean in to support for any lows, whether they be work or personal.  

Why are diverse teams important? 

A diverse team brings people together from different backgrounds with varied life experiences, allowing new and unique perspectives to help solve problems collaboratively. To me, diversity means nothing without inclusion. If an employee doesn't feel included and welcomed, it's likely that they won't feel comfortable to share their differing perspectives and ideas. To create an inclusive team, ideas from all employees should be welcomed, appreciated and not dismissed - with everybody's contributions heard equitably, no matter what gender, race, disability status or background they are from.