Ladies first: Asda 'one of top employers' for women
Asda, which has 16 stores across Northern Ireland, has been named as one of the UK's top employers for women in a Top 50 list published by The Times.
The retailer, which employs 2320 women here and 97,000 women across its 386 stores UK wide, is known for its flexible working policies.
In a recent colleague survey, over 97% of women working at Asda said that they were proud to work for the retailer and 94% said they knew what options were available to them if they wanted to develop.
Gillian Cuddy, manager of Asda's Ballyclare store, and the first female store manager in Northern Ireland, believes the retailer's commitment to supporting women through the business is why Asda has received its high ranking. Gillian, who has widespread experience in the retail sector including several years as retail manager for Lidl in South Wales, joined Asda in 2009 to head up the Ballyclare store which employs 300 people.
"I was attracted to Asda because of its really great people-friendly policies and also because of its strong stance on people development," she said.
"I'm currently the only female store manager in Northern Ireland but I'm confident with Asda's reputation and the many opportunities on offer, this number will increase which is excellent news for anyone considering their future career."
As well as flexible working, the retailer also offers coaching programmes to colleagues and recently launched a mentoring scheme for female colleagues going on maternity leave.