International Women’s Day 2022 | Mindful Chef


This International Women’s Day, we’re shining a light on some of the women in our Operations and Tech teams at Mindful Chef, to support #breakthebias. 

At Mindful Chef, 52% of our team is female, so we’d like to take a minute to introduce you to even more of them, celebrating the people who help us have a positive impact on our B Corp journey.  

Here’s a taste of what we’ve been able to achieve as a like-minded collective, changing what good food means to the planet.  

Introducing: Inês Simão, Product Designer

What helped or impacted your decision-making when you chose your career?

My interest in technology came from growing up with a techy dad. But what helped me choose Product Design was working at a consulting firm which gave me the freedom to explore and build different skills, as well as the amazing people who’ve supported me along the way. I really believe I wouldn’t be where I am without the amazing support from my friends, colleagues and family.

How has your experience been in your roles?

I absolutely love it! Being a Product Designer enables me to be both analytical and creative at the same time, bringing a great balance to my work. I also love seeing the tangible impact that I make with the designs that I help create. 

Who inspires you & why? 

My 92-year-old granny. She is the biggest inspiration in my life. Not only does she have such a positive, open-minded, and strong mindset, but also exercises 3 times a week, despite her age! She inspires me to be a better version of myself every day. 

Introducing: Ama Owusu-Sekyere, Operations and Systems Manager

What helped or impacted your decision-making when choosing your career?

I wanted to work in a growing industry that would give me the opportunity to wear many hats. Nothing is ever boring in production/warehouse environments and the fast paced nature means I am always learning and thinking on my feet!

How has your experience been in your roles? 

I’ve had the privilege of working in many warehouses up and down the country and for the most part  I’m met with intrigue as a young black woman in a management position. It’s had its challenges (on one site there was no female loo as they’d “never had any”) but things are certainly shifting. I am so pleased to see more BAME women in the industry as a whole. 

Who inspires you & why? 

I think my Mum is my main inspiration. She’s incredibly smart, passionate and has always pushed me to challenge myself and society around me. She’s an incredible woman and role model for my sisters and I.

Introducing: Joanne Sherratt, Site Technical Manager

What helped or impacted your decision-making when you chose your career?

I’m not really sure if I ever chose my career.  I seemed to just fall into it.  I had no idea what I wanted to do at GCSE stage, so I did A Levels in the hope that inspiration would hit me. It didn’t! So I went to university.  I’d grown up on a farm in a rural area and the only thing I knew when it came to choosing a university was that I wanted it to also be in a rural area.  

That was my only reason for choosing an Agricultural College. I knew for practical reasons I was never going to be a farmer, so I picked a degree in food manufacturing and the rest as they say is history. 

How has your experience been in your roles? 

I’ve never allowed being a woman to put me off going for a job if I thought I could do it and to be fair, I haven’t come across any overt gender barriers, although I’ve come across plenty of incorrect assumptions.  In my first role as a Technical Manager pretty much all of the promotional post I received was addressed to Mr. Joe Sherratt!  And I regularly witnessed surprised expressions when people met me for the first time.  That said, this has gotten far better in recent years.

Who inspires you & why? 

There are two people who have inspired me over the years, and the first, very close to home is my Mum.  I know there are famous women that have made fantastic contributions to society that I could reference. But in honesty, none of them have had such a profound influence on me.  

As a Chemistry graduate in the early 70’s, my Mum became an industrial chemist with Dunlop research and successfully campaigned with co-workers for equal pay for herself and other female employees.  

When growing up I was always encouraged to do whatever I wanted and not to let the fact that I’m a woman put me off.  It just wasn’t allowed to be a factor! 

The other person who inspired me was Douglas Bader.  He absolutely did not let adversity stop him! One of my favourite quotes of his is “Have a go at everything… never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”  And he certainly did that!  

Born in London in 1910. He was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Air Force in 1930 but at the age of 21 he crashed his aeroplane and lost both legs.  He was discharged from the RAF but found work flying with the Asiatic Petroleum Company.

At the start of the Second World War Douglas rejoined the RAF.  He showed outstanding skill as an aviator and fighter ace, but was ultimately shot down and held as a prisoner of war, during which he escaped and was recaptured 3 times! After the war he rejoined Asiatic Petroleum Company (Shell) as a pilot, as well as getting his golf handicap down to an extraordinary 2 and fundraising on behalf of many disabled groups and charities.  

In summary, he never just sat back and settled for the easy option!

Introducing: Emma Murphy – Head of Food

What do you love about working for Mindful Chef? 

I love that the business is growing at a fast pace but still keeps agile in decision making by remaining close to its customers and putting their needs high on the decision making agenda. It is easy to say “We listen to our customers” but it is often harder to actually put that into practice!

How do you feel supported working here? 

The business is very vocal in its awareness that its team members have a life outside of the company and encourage a strong work/life balance to ensure that our mental well-being is well taken care of at all times; this open culture, which runs directly from our leadership team downwards, makes it feel like a safe space to ask for help, offer ideas for change as well as have an enjoyable time at work.

Introducing: Nancy Barnes – Customer Care Specialist

What do you love about working for Mindful Chef?

Working at Mindful Chef comes with a lot of positives but what I love most is the people who strive to make Mindful Chef a great place to work. Because of the people at Mindful Chef I have been able to ask for support when I’ve needed it, got said support and have been able to explore my own interests within Mindful Chef. The personable nature of Mindful Chef has meant I can now imagine paths for myself I hadn’t before and I know Mindful Chef will be happy to help me develop skills that could help me in the future.

How do you feel supported working here?

During my time at Mindful Chef, I’ve probably needed more support than some. As someone living with mental illness it can be scary asking for support due to stigma. But when I needed it I was reassured by the reaction and care taken by my team leaders. Reasonable adjustments were made and my line manager continues to offer support and encouragement during our 121s. I’ve also been able to pursue areas of interest within Mindful Chef that may be outside my role with the help of my team leaders including assisting with Mindful Chef’s Mental Health Network. I’ve been encouraged to get involved in areas of Mindful Chef that hold interest to me which shows that at Mindful Chef you are thought of as an individual, not just a job title.

Introducing: Kate McNuff, CFO

What do you love about working for Mindful Chef?

Mindful Chef really champions it’s strong female workforce, with a huge 55% of the team being female. I’m so proud to be part of such a progressive and supportive environment.

How do you feel supported working here? 

We have a very open and collaborative culture, with no question too silly (and there are definitely a few silly ones from me!) We foster constant learning and growth – I’ve been with the business for 3 years now and there hasn’t been a day when I’ve not learnt something new.

What does being a B Corp means to us at Mindful Chef? Find out more here.

Yet to try healthy eating made easy? Get £10 off your first two recipe boxes by entering code BLOG20 at checkout. Mindful Chef recipe boxes provide you with the tools to cook delicious nutritious meals, in under 30 minutes. Each box contains recipe instructions, pre-portioned ingredients and fresh produce sourced from award-winning British farms

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