It takes a lot to change someone’s direction in life. Mel Worth, Sainsbury’s Head of Resourcing, was tempted away from university by a career at the company – and now she’s opening other people’s eyes to the opportunities available.
How did you get where you are today?
I started working at Sainsbury’s when I was 16. Initially, it was a casual job – but I really enjoyed the fast pace of retail so, when I went to university, I stayed with the company part-time. Everything clicked when I started Sainsbury’s Trainee Manager scheme. I chose that over university, working my way up until I was taking responsibility for a large area, from the Isle of Wight to Nottingham.
Tell us about your current role
I work in HR, supporting people to find the best role for them. Part of it is talent spotting to help my colleagues progress, but I also work closely with organisations such as Jobcentre Plus to bring new recruits in.
How do you help others?
I help colleagues find what’s best for them. That could be flexible working for people with young children, or it could be a long-term plan for someone who wants to take on a lot of responsibility quite quickly. Our You Can scheme helps get people back into work – including the long-term unemployed and others who face significant barriers to work. Since 2008, You Can schemes have helped 13,000 people into work; 4,300 alone in 2011. We also offer first-rate training for people which can lead to externally-recognised qualifications.
Have you hit any barriers to career progression?
I can honestly say I haven’t. That says a lot about Sainsbury’s. We match the right person to the right job – and about a third of our senior managers are women. Our You Can scheme helps colleagues progress – but the diversity of roles here means there is a way of working that suits everybody.
What’s in store for your future?
I want to stay at Sainsbury’s and develop my career. There’s a supportive culture here to help me achieve that. I have a passion for inspiring new talent and I know that my time here so far does that. I hope my future will be as inspiring.
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