‘Spotlight On’ with Hannah Thirkill

July 21, 2021 By

Marks & Spencer trading manager Hannah Thirkill has been unveiled as the first star of a new series of candid behind-the-scenes videos about careers in the meat industry.

In the six-minute video, Thirkill, who looks after meat, fish and dairy at M&S, takes viewers behind the curtain to share what her role involves in a typical week – from store visits to supplier collaboration, benchmarking competitor products and scouting for NPD inspiration.

The video, which goes live today, is part of a new ‘Spotlight On’ series created by membership organisation Meat Business Women. It builds on Meat Business Women’s ‘She Looks Like Me’ campaign, which launched in May to raise awareness of career opportunities in the meat industry and highlight female role models.

Meat Business Women founder Laura Ryan says: “Public perceptions of jobs in the meat industry are outdated, which is holding the sector back – particularly when it comes to recruiting female talent. A lack of visibility is a big part of the challenge. There are so many great jobs to be had in the meat industry, but people don’t see them. We’re thrilled Hannah is helping to change this by supporting our campaign and providing a fascinating glimpse into her work at M&S.”

Hannah Thirkill, M&S trading manager – meat, fish & dairy, says: “I’ve only worked in the meat industry for two years, but I already love it. My role is challenging but always varied and interesting, and I get to work with our fantastic suppliers and manufacturers on creating great products for our customers. I’m excited to be part of Meat Business Women’s campaign and hope my video will inspire other women to explore careers in the meat sector.”

Meat Business Women’s ‘She Looks Like Me’ and ‘Spotlight On’ initiatives aim to challenge stereotypes about working in meat and put a human face to the sector at a time when it faces increased public scrutiny and pressure to become more diverse. Last year, a report commissioned by Meat Business Women revealed women make up just 36% of the meat industry’s global workforce and hold just 5% of chief executive roles.

Meat Business Women has created a digital toolkit, including social media visuals, to help meat businesses and individuals upload their own #shelookslikeme content, humanise the jobs they do and more widely promote career opportunities in their sector. The toolkit is free of charge and via the homepage.

Meat Business Women members can access enhanced resources https://meatbusinesswomen.org/login/.

If you are a woman working in the meat industry and would like to feature in a future ‘Spotlight On’ video, please get in touch at info@meatbusinesswomen.org