Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Why losing to a womens network made me stand up and applaud

Sorry for not getting any blog posts up recently. I decided to go on holiday but the rest of Tesco decided not to pause while I did so!

Still, madly trying to catch up with projects is always 'fun' and being able to write blog posts (my lowest priority, alas) at least shows I am back on course now!

The New Media Age Awards took place last week. As you may be aware, Tesco.com R&D had been nominated for what the organisers referred to as its "Outstanding contribution to new media" with all our various projects. We didn't win, however, but the people who did win had me on my feet offering them genuine applause: The winner was "She Says", an organisation  established to encourage more women into creative roles in the digital industry through events, mentoring and awards.

"She Says" - http://shesaysus.com/ - started as a small community in London - and has grown into a 3000-member network across seven cities worldwide, and its success can be seen in the recent announcement that Lariu, one of the founders, was leaving her job to work for She Says full-time.

Why was I on my feet showing a happy 'losing Oscars' face? This is exactly the sort of thing that Tesco encourages through our 'Everyone is welcome at Tesco' work. At the head of this work is Tesco Diversity Council (TDC), a steering group .TDC is chaired by Tesco board member and Corporate & Legal Affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe (and I am privileged to be a TDC member) and provides advocacy to such staff networks as Tesco Women's Network (http://cr2010.tescoplc.com/our-people/inclusion.aspx) who perform a similar role to She Says but inside Tesco.

Creating a level playing field for all people is vital in our industry so that we can all get maximum access to the best talent out there. It's great to see that this work is appreciated and award winning.

That's why I had no problem losing to such a worthy contender, and why I stood and clapped as She Says took the award. Well done!


  1. Is there a Tesco's Men Network?
    If not, isn't that a slap in the face for the minority of your staff who are men?

  2. Good question, Anonymous!

    The Tesco Women's Network was formed because women are not represented as greatly in the company, particularly in higher management positions.

    Men are NOT the minority of staff!


  3. Maybe you should check your CSR dept. Last time I looked 57% of your 493k staff were women!

    Seems to me that once someone is in a job, their gender should be irrelevant. Or is it a case of every little helps?

    while I may be trolling you a little, I do love the blog, its very, very interesting. Look forward to seeing the end results on the shop floor!


As this blog grows in readership - and because it carries the Tesco brand - I have had to become more careful about the sort of comments that are acceptable. The good news is that I'm a champion of free speech so please be as praising or as critical as you wish! The only comments I DON'T allow through are:

1. Comments which criticise an individual other than myself, or are critical of an organisation other than Tesco. This is simply because they cannot defend themselves so is unfair and possibly libellous. Comments about some aspect of Tesco being better/worse than another equivalent organisation are allowed as long as you start by saying "in my personal opinion.." or "I think that...". ... followed by a "...because.." and some reasoned argument.

2. Comments which are totally unrelated to the context of the original article. If I have written about a mobile app and you start complaining about the price of potatoes then your comment isn't going stay for long!

3. Advertising / web links / spam.

4. Insulting / obscene messages.

Ok, rules done - now it's your go: