In a bid to support the growth and development of students in Berkshire, this month, local foodservice provider, Bidfood in Slough, hosted a National Women’s Day event in partnership with the Slough Business Community Partnership (SBCP).
The National Women’s Day event, hosted at Bidfood’s head office in Slough, focused on supporting the career development of local school girls from Langley Park Academy; through career workshops and networking opportunities with influential women across Bidfood’s business. The workshops gave the students the exclusive opportunity to gain helpful advice on how to get into a variety of careers across the industry, from marketing and sales, supply chain and technical services, to product development, procurement and many more. Throughout the day, the students had the opportunity to network and gain helpful career planning tips from successful women across Bidfood’s business, from entry level to director.
When asked about the day, Angela O’Donovan, Director of Technical Services, said: “As a woman in a leadership role it was important for me to support other young women in their careers and personal development, to help them realise their full potential. I explained to the students that you don’t have to have achieved top class honours at university to be successful in your career, but that you can work hard, believe in yourself and achieve your goals in many different ways! I really hope that they take on board all our advice to help them be successful in their future and achieve their dreams.”
Talking about the initiative, Catherine Hinchcliff, Head of Corporate Marketing, said: “We were delighted to welcome students from Berkshire to our head offices here in Slough and offer them a glimpse behind the scenes in the world of foodservice. Women from all levels in our business were queuing up to meet them and share the stories of their careers, and the rich experience they have gained in very different roles within Bidfood. There is so much budding talent on our doorstep here in Slough and we would love to see these students visit us again to take up work placements or even apprenticeships in the future.”
To maximise the impact of the event, Bidfood also partnered with the Slough arm of a charity that focuses on assisting the development of young people. Learning to Work, brings opportunities to young people via a range of different activities, from work experience to enterprise activities, and has proudly helped over 18,000 people in their careers already.
Discussing the Women in Wholesale event, Nancy Lalor, Operations Director at Learning to Work, said: “Learning to Work was thrilled to support the Bidfood event linked to International Women’s Day, giving students from Langley Academy an insight into Women in Wholesale and valuable advice to help shape their futures – the students were both impressed and inspired by the array of women who spoke at the event!”
“Inspiring, motivating and bringing careers to life for all students helps to ignite curiosity and embed an understating of the many opportunities that await them as they move from education to employment. With initiatives like the event at Bidfood, we can really help local young people gain a greater understanding of the world of work, and really help shape their future development.”
Community engagement is an important part of Bidfood’s core values, and the teams in Slough have worked closely with the SBCP over the last year to do everything they can to support their local community, from volunteering at community projects, to supporting future talent across the area.