Rachael Meaney

Current Role: Head of Colleague Experience


Meet Rachael, Head of Colleague Experience at Booker.


She’s been with Tesco group for almost 10 years. Here, Rachael shares her experience with her role at Booker and the Women’s Development Program.


As Head of Colleague Experience, my role sits within the People leadership team in Booker. I first joined the Tesco group in 2014, working for Tesco for 7 years, before moving to Booker around 3 years ago. I found that I really wanted to develop my role when working for Tesco but there wasn’t any opportunity that suited me at the time. Being able to move to a different part of the business was a big factor to my career progression.


My role as Head of Colleague Experience, is really varied, one of the great things about working for Booker is that you never have just one job. I look after diversity, equity and inclusion, People tech projects and portfolio planning, to name just a few. My team work to try and improve the overall colleague experience, supporting Booker to have a great culture and make a real difference for colleagues.

“It’s great to see how we're actually making a difference to people."

The Women’s Development Program is there to help make that difference, support people within the business and aim to increase female representation. We still have some way to go in supporting women’s development, but Booker has realised what needs improving and we’re starting to see changes.

“…you know Tesco and Booker are investing in you and giving you the support you need.”

When discussing career progression with my coach, there were points where I said things like “they took a chance on me.” Or “I was really lucky.” When in fact, I should be acknowledging my success as my own. So this program and the coaching has helped me to reframe my way of thinking. I was taught to give myself credit and stop talking about my career as if it’s the output of other people’s actions.


I’ve been able to get to a place where I’m really happy with my career. I think The Women’s Development Program has given me a bit of a boost, to be able to see where I want to be in the next couple of years and give me the tools to get there. This program has also helped me to overcome worries about being potentially being a parent in the future as it’s shown that having children doesn’t mean your career progress has to just stop.


I’m very lucky to be able to say I have a great boss. If I were to have a child in the future, I’d be comfortable to explore flexible working options with them. I find that Booker is supportive of both my career and my well-being, which is incredibly important to me and so many other women on this program and throughout the business.

“…I think there is so much power by just telling someone they have potential.”


It’s important for employers to acknowledge your potential and tell you. It can be such a powerful thing to say to someone and for that/those people to hear.


Tesco and Booker are making some pretty big changes to policies, in my opinion. More recently Tesco has increased their maternity leave policy. It used to be 14 weeks full pay, 14 weeks half pay, and it's now gone to 26 weeks full pay. I think that’s pretty revolutionary and will have such a positive impact on so many colleagues. For many households, they depend on both partners salaries so this change to be able to give so many people more comfort and security, is a big step.


It’s not just maternity that Tesco group take seriously. It’s other issues that women may come across in the workplace. It’s important that Tesco have zero tolerance policies in areas like harassment, but they really do live by it too.


There’s so much opportunity in Tesco to learn, try more than one thing and be able to change roles and find what you’re really passionate about. They’re very big on internal hiring. I just think that there is a huge amount of opportunity in Tesco, whether you work in People or tech or logistics or buying or IT or legal, whatever it is, there's a function for that in Tesco. Within that function, it's covering so many different aspects.


I think overall, Tesco has a really good culture. When thinking about an internal job search or starting your career with Tesco, consider Booker. Booker is a great option and has a great development and learning experience. It doesn't have to be just Tesco. We’re all part of the same team.




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