aspireOur Aspire Women’s Career Network has been doing some great things over the past few months, and we’re now looking for new members, volunteers and members of our steering group to drive our plans forward for the rest of the year.

The network was formed to look at why women’s progression slowed down around Grade E, and to provide practical solutions to support colleagues’ self development. However, the network is open to everyone – not just women.

Here are some of the things we’ve been working on:

  • We’ve introduced a ‘parent to parent’ network to support colleagues who have recently returned to work, are about to return to work, or have children starting school. Colleagues will be paired up with a lead buddy who will be there to give them some informal support with any workplace challenges
  • We’re continuing our lunchtime development sessions and round tables with senior leaders, including a dial-in option for those based outside of Manchester. We’ll also share updates on our Twitter – @Aspire_Co_op
  • We’ve launched our Mentoring Programme to match up members who want to be mentored, with members who want to mentor (and members who want both).

We’re managed by a group of volunteers from across the Co-op who set up lunchtime skills sessions, networking opportunities and discussion groups with leaders. So whatever your skills there’s a role for you, if you want to get involved. Just email aspire@coop.co.uk and tell us how you want to help.

I look forward to chatting to you soon.

Emma Barrett
Aspire Chair