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Dear colleague Here in Thomas Cook we’re continuing our drive to develop our people, invest in their futures, and foster talent across all parts of our business. A very successful programme that we’ve run for the last two years is our UK Thomas Cook Women’s Sponsorship programme, and I am delighted to confirm that this has been expanded to be bigger and better than ever in 2018. Launching again on International Women’s Day, the 2018 scheme offers places to 15 female colleagues, up from 12 last year and seven in our first year, and – for the first time ever – we are welcoming senior male leaders as sponsors too! As before, the programme is very much about sponsorship not mentoring, so the sponsors – senior leaders from across the UK - work with their sponsees to take action, not just give them advice. Whilst a mentor offers advice and guidance, a sponsor supports you to make things happen. You only have to see some of the progress from those who’ve taken part in previous years to see the benefit of this scheme (you can read more about this on page three of this eZine). In Thomas Cook we have great development opportunities for all colleagues regardless of gender, levels and location, but we do know that more has to be done to support gender diversity: 83% of our workforce is female but only 39% of our senior managers are women. While this is improving – last year that number was 35% - there is still more to be done. We always have great interest for our UK specific programme, and the feedback on the launch of the Group’s Supporting Women to Success scheme that was launched last year, has been very positive too. I look forward to seeing your applications to be part of this great scheme! Kind regards

Karen McGill UK HR Director Thomas Cook UK

Click the image to hear from Karen McGill


› Sponsorship and guidance from a UK senior leader › Invitation to launch event – with all sponsors and sponsees › Mid-year development day › Networking opportunities

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS (AND SPONSEES!) IF YOU ARE... flexible, adaptable, looking to develop your career and broaden your experience… we want to hear from you! The UK scheme is open to all female colleagues working within the UK & Ireland business

Hear what women involved in last year’s programme have to say

Emma Stebbing a sponsee in last year’s programme

Hayley Gulliver a sponsee in last year’s programme

Torey Kings-Hodkin a sponsor in last year’s programme and a sponsor again in this year’s programme 3



5 out of the 7 women

8 of our 13 sponsees

who were sponsored were promoted or moved to a bigger role

have already either moved roles, have had their remit expanded or been promoted

In the UK

but only

83% of colleagues are female



39% of our Senior Managers are women



Click here to see who has been part of the previous years’ programmes 4

HOW TO APPLY This programme is for UK female colleagues, so if you’re in one of our Retail shops or based in one of our UK office sites: Falkirk, Manchester or Peterborough – and want to be part of the 2018 Women’s Sponsorship programme then we’d love to hear from you. To apply is simple – send us a short video clip, no more than two minutes (recording it on your smartphone is fine) explaining why you’d like the opportunity to be sponsored.

Be as innovative, bold and candid as you like, but please keep it punchy and to the point!


• Who you are and yo ur current job title • What your career aspirations are and wh at you are currently doin g to achieve them • What you hope to get out of the programme

The small print: • Please send it to – if it’s too large to send over email, you can download the free WeTransfer app on your phone and send it that way • The closing date is Thursday 29 March • You must be able to make the launch event – in Peterborough – on 27 April 2018 with other successful candidates and all of the sponsors • If you are successful, we will then match you with your ideal sponsor and contact you by email in early April 5


SPONSORS 2018 Alison Edgley Head of Contact Centres & Operations

Lorraine Forshaw Head of Central Operations

Chris Chalmers Marketing & Ecommerce Director

Nicki Tempest-Mitchell Head of Retail Central

David Hilton Group Head of IT UK & Head of eCommerce Solution – OneDigital

Pauline Morning Head of Customer Experience

Diane Humphreys Head of HR Business Change

Peter Berry-Edwards Head of HR – Group Corporate Functions

Fiona Harris Group Head of Omnichannel

Phil Gardner Head of Commercial Sales & Relations

Karen McGill UK HR Director

Sam Warden Procurement & Property Director

Kathryn Darbandi Director of Retail and Customer Experience

Torey Kings-Hodkin Head of Cruise and Disney Partnerships

Katie Elson Head of Creative and Content



This isn’t about ‘girl power’ it’s about developing the potential of our female colleagues and we know that men can influence and help this too. In past years we’ve had a women-helping-women mentality towards our sponsors but this year we’re delighted to include male sponsors too. We know that our male senior leaders are eager to get involved and we look forward to the difference they can make to this important programme. There’s equality for you!


Q How does the UK Women’s Sponsorship programme fit with the Group Women’s scheme?

As an international business it is great to be able to offer development programmes where colleagues are given the chance to network with people from other markets. Given the size of the UK workforce and the wealth of development opportunities within our business – and the appetite from colleagues – we felt that both schemes work well together.

Q Q Why do you run this women’s only scheme – surely men need one of their own too?

We already have lots of development opportunities within Thomas Cook – from our Flight Path programme, eLearning on the Academy through to management schemes. Both our UK and Group Women’s Sponsorship programmes support the diversity we have in our business, where 83% of our workforce is female.

I’ve applied to the UK scheme in the past but haven’t been successful, am I ok to send in an application this time?

Absolutely, we’ve got more places than ever before – 15 in total for this year – and we’d like to hear from any female colleagues who want to maximise their career potential.

Q I applied for the Group Sponsoring Women to Success programme but wasn’t successful. Can I send in an application even though I didn’t get into the Group scheme?

Yes, absolutely – we want to hear from any female colleague who is eager to raise their profile and progress to the next stage of their career. As the application process is the same, you can choose whether to submit your original video or make a new one.

Q Is this just creating a ‘girls gang’ instead of the ‘boys club’?

There is a widespread effort – led by Government and business leaders, of which we’re one – to improve the mix of women in management positions. Our Sponsorship scheme is another one of our efforts to develop our colleagues – 83% of who are women, with only 39% of our senior leaders being female.


International Women’s Day, on 8 March each year, is a global day marking the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also recognises that there is still discrepancy across the world towards gender in the work place. The day, which has been ‘celebrated’ since the early 1900’s is marked around the world. For more information visit: THO.UK.003

Sponsoring women to success UK 2018  
Sponsoring women to success UK 2018