Supporting colleagues with flexible working

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is focused on #EmbraceEquity, to get the world talking about why equal opportunities are no longer enough.


Equality means individuals or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Whereas, equity recognises that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. IWD encourages everyone to embrace equity to help drive change.


Here, Lucy Silva, Assistant General Manager of Gist Thatcham, discusses how she is supported in her job share role.


Tell us about your role, what does an Assistant General Manager do?

It is a varied role overseeing all aspects of the site, people and performance, with a particular focus on warehouse for myself. A key part of the role is reviewing operational performance and delivering continuous improvement and efficiency through the warehouse team, ensuring we deliver against our strategic objectives and service key performance indicators (KPIs). I stand-in for the General Manager when required and, with the site leadership team, endeavour to create an exceptional and inclusive site culture.  


You are currently working part time. How are you finding your work life balance with such a demanding role?

It is a continuous challenge, and definitely a work in progress. But by structuring my day and organising my time effectively, working smart and with the team around me, I feel I am able to achieve a reasonable work-life balance for the majority of the time. 


How would the role work as a job share?

A job share in an operational role is a progressive step and not something that’s been done before, so needs to continue to be worked through to ensure it is a success and delivers to the business needs. I think it would work by dual commitment from both job sharers to exchange skills and knowledge, identify clear lines of communication, sharing progress and holding each other to account, to take the site forward. It does add a different dimension and it will be important to divide responsibilities and work streams to ensure we are supporting one another in completing work efficiently and productively, and contributing to the overall success of the role. I think it could be effective to have an additional perspective, to continue to challenge our ways of working.


Can you tell us a little bit about your career path with Gist?

I joined Gist on a graduate scheme in 2011. My first role was at our Faversham site, where I spent time in transport, warehouse and operations. I have worked across M&S and Primary sites and also worked in a project and planning capacity at Head Office in Basingstoke. My role prior to Thatcham Warehouse Manager then Assistant General Manager was Site Operations Manager at Hemel Maylands. I have continued to be challenged and supported in my development, allowing me to grow into the leader I am today.


What are the benefits of working for Gist?

The benefits of working for Gist are being supported and developed. From my personal experience, I have been challenged and given opportunities that allow me to progress in a controlled way. Gist is a progressive company and there is the real opportunity to make an impact and positively influence your environment, resulting in great job satisfaction. The passion, commitment and capability of the people really do make it a great place to work. A particularly exciting time to be working for Gist as we work with M&S to improve our supply chain efficiency.


If you are interested in taking on a job share position alongside Lucy as Assistant General Manager of a Gist site, please click here.