Although the UK has robust equal opportunity laws in place, many industries and work places remain male-dominated. One leading food business aims to change that by placing a clear target to recruit more women.
Award-winning wholesaler JJ Food Service is aiming to grow its female warehouse staff from 8% currently to at least 20% in the next 12 months, enabling the company to tap into a greater pool of talent for more senior roles.
The company’s headquarter branch manager Sedat Kaan Hendekli explained that, “At the start of the year we had a mainly male workforce in the Enfield warehouse. Six months later 8% of the team is female, and it’s still growing.”
JJ, owned by Turkish Cypriot entrepreneur Mustafa Kiamil, is keen to promote careers within the business to a more diverse workforce and one of the major attractions for female workers has been its flexible shift patterns. It’s prompted existing female workers to recommend roles to friends, helping to create a new dynamic and atmosphere at work.
Pointing to the positive effect the women are having in the warehouse, Mr Hendekli said: “Too much testosterone can be a challenge in any working environment”, adding “Our female employees are hardworking, honest and trustworthy – they set an excellent example for everyone and fit well into our warehouse team. We are actively encouraging and progressing more female applicants.”
He added that many JJ managers came in at a junior level and quickly worked themselves up the career ladder. As a result, Mr Hendekli believes it is only a matter of time before the company, which operates eleven warehouses nationwide, has its first female branch manager.
“Many of our managers started in warehouse roles learning the job from the ground up. By broadening our talent pool from the bottom, we are more likely to progress women into senior level positions, which will no doubt have a positive impact across the business,” said Hendekli.
JJ services cafes, hotels, restaurants, takeaways, schools, local authorities and more across the UK. Last year, it was named by the Sunday Times as one country’s fastest growing privately owned companies, employing over 900 people and enjoying an annual turnover in excess of £180 million.
The company offers a wide range of employment benefits, including on-the-job training, childcare vouchers, strong career prospects, and a mixture of full and part-time positions. JJ is currently advertising 30 vacancies, including in sales and warehouse, for its branches around the country – prospective applicants can find out more from here.