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I am delighted that we’ve once again been recognised in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015. We are one of only a few retailers to achieve this, so it’s something we are all extremely proud of.  

We’re proud of every woman – at every level of our organisation – whose consistent hard work, commitment, ideas and imagination make us the business we are today. Whether our female employees are delivering outstanding customer service in store, sitting around our boardroom table or inspiring colleagues in any number of roles behind the scenes, we recognise the commitment and difference that every one of them makes.  

M&S has always had a strong number of female employees, and we’ve maintained this over the years with almost three quarters of our current workforce being female. At the same time, we’ve done a lot of work internally to drive the gender balance at management levels, including the M&S Inspiring Women Network that I set up to run regular development events . From this we’ve organised a number of pilot schemes, including cross business mentoring for senior women, run by the Government backed 30% Club and a female only development programme. We’ve also partnered with a local school to provide 1:1 mentoring support for around 50 female students between the ages of 15 and 17.  

It’s great to see that the work we’ve driven this year has been recognised, and that we are included among some great employers to achieve this accolade. I’m committed to developing our work in this area throughout the year and hope to continue our success. I realise that there is still a lot of work for us to do to ensure that diversity remains a central feature for our senior positions. The recent appointment of Helen Weir, Chief Finance Officer, to our Board, means we are certainly driving a healthy gender balance at our most senior level, and our continued promotion of diversity across the business will only be beneficial for the company.   

The full list of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015 is available via the Opportunity Now website.  

Each month we will be posting blogs, sharing our activity and highlighting some of the key messages from our Inspiring Women Network events. 

If you would like to receive an email alert when we post our latest blogs, click here.