Celebrating International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women's Day, we caught up with the packing team at our Continental Fine Foods site in Bury where the team is 70% female, and they never stop striving for exceptional results day in, day out.

Led by Shift Manager Gosia, the team have developed a mentoring scheme, enabling the group to continuously progress their skills in the workplace and allowing the team to flourish in which ever area they choose. This has been greatly received by the team members, who appreciate the enhanced confidence and additional opportunities. Gosia has been an incredible inspiration to her team, proving that anything is possible with some hard work and dedication.

Ewelina, Section Head, talked to us about the mentoring scheme available and just how much she has appreciated having a mentor available for additional support, allowing her to have the confidence to take on additional projects and helping her to progress in her role.

Members of the team have also benefitted from Cranswick's enhanced maternity pay, alongside several ‘keep in touch’ days and a phased return to work to allow for a smoother transition. This was something that Gosia really valued as it allowed her to plan her time off on maternity much more easily. The team also allows for flexible working, ensuring that parents can work around their children and achieve a healthy work life balance. This is highly regarded by all members of the team.

Great communication skills and an appreciative level of empathy have been highly beneficial in the team empowering their female workforce; they are very proud of all that they have achieved.

Here’s what we heard from Gosia, Shift Manager…

“I feel proud to be a female shift manager at Cranswick Continental, I had a few challenges when I started in 2006 as I don’t think food manufacturing was a traditional role for a woman. I now feel comfortable in my role and have the self-confidence to be myself at work and know I can achieve as much as any other manager regardless of gender.

During my time working at Cranswick I have had 2 children. I’m proof you can balance family life and work life as long as you want to do that. I received enhanced maternity pay which really helped when I was on maternity leave and to be able to plan my time off and return to work.

I try to lead by example, and I have a female dominant management team, but gender doesn’t matter to me, and I would give everyone the same opportunity. I mentor my team to know they have the same opportunities as anyone else across the business and show them by example as I have proved over the years. I started as a production operative and have worked hard to progress to be in a shift manager role for the last 6 years."

Here’s what we heard from Justyna, Line Leader…

“As a woman I feel I have great communication and empathy skills which really helps me as a manager. I understand the challenges of females in the workplace as they tend to be the carers for children so it can sometimes be more difficult to plan your shifts around this. I mentor my team to take any opportunities that come their way so that they can progress themselves.”

Here’s what we heard from Ewelina, Section Head…

“Its good fun working at Cranswick, I enjoy working here there are lots of pportunities for progression. I have a mentor who I can go to, to get advice and they give me the support and confidence to take on additional projects. I like to be involved across the business and have helped with various continuous improvement projects to help me learn and progress in my role.”

Here’s what we heard from Sandra, Line Leader…

“I enjoy my job the shift works well for me and my family commitments. I have good clear communication from my manager and know what I need to do at work to succeed. I’m a Mum so I understand the pressures that come with working shifts and like to help people to work around this so they can balance their family life with their work life. Through being mentored I have learnt a lot and the advice I would give other women in the team is to take every opportunity that comes your way, work hard and show that you are interested to learn.”