International Women's Day 2021

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women across the world. The theme for this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’ and we are joining the celebration by sharing inspirational stories from our female colleagues and women in our community.

We are also marking the day by donating £1,000 to local community foundations in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex to help improve the lives of local women and girls. You can read more about the donation on our news page.

Click on the profiles below to read about how our colleagues and community have challenged themselves and achieved amazing things such as supporting local communities through the Coronavirus pandemic, juggling an apprenticeship with work and home life and becoming our co-op’s first female Asian store manager. You can also learn more about how co-ops pioneered equality for women in the 19th century.

Equality for women - our history

To this day we are guided by the values established by our co-operative founders in the 1800s.

Find out more

‘I became the first female Asian store manager and one of the youngest’

Rubi Begum started working part-time as a Customer Service Assistant for the East of England Co-op when she was a teenager, little did she realise then that she would eventually become one of its youngest store managers.

Read Rubi's story

‘I’m impressed by how many senior managers at East of England Co-op are women’

When Pam Ransome was promoted to Purchase Ledger Supervisor at the East of England Co-op, she embraced the opportunity as a challenge to evolve personally and develop the skills needed to manage a team.

Read Pam's story

‘There are so many other women doing so much for their community’

Lockdown has brought out the charitable side in many and a sense of community for most, but for one woman, helping others has long been a big part of her life.

Read Ali's story