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

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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.

Pam joined East of England Co-op in 2008 as a temp in the finance team, after travelling the world for three years. She later progressed to the role of Purchase Ledger Assistant. In 2018, she was promoted to Purchase Ledger Supervisor, managing a team of four colleagues.

Mother-of-two Pam viewed the promotion as an opportunity for further self-development and to learn new leadership skills to do the job to the best of her ability. She was also inspired by the number of female role models at the East of England Co-op.

“I’m impressed by how many senior managers at East of England Co-op are women. My manager and her manager are both women, and you look across HR, Marketing and Property, and they all have women in senior manager roles.”

After speaking with her manager about training, Pam embarked on a Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship alongside her day-to-day role, attending West Suffolk College once a month. A quick learner, she completed her 18-month course four months ahead of time, passing with distinction.

“I was given a lot of encouragement and I was lucky to have a supportive team with 60 years’ experience at East of England Co-op between them, so I was able to delegate – I had also already made improvements in the team to save time that freed me up more.”

Unbeknown to Pam, the apprenticeship would provide her with the necessary skills to lead a team in the most extraordinary of times during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s helped me develop so many different skills, such as communication, coaching, empathy and time management. I don’t know how I would have got on without it. The biggest challenge over the last year has been having to navigate lockdown while we’re all working remotely, but we have a lot of support from managers, senior managers and our IT department, and our Learning and Development team are fantastic.”

Aged 45, Pam highly recommends an apprenticeship to anyone who wants to develop and progress in their career, pointing out that there are no barriers to age or gender.

Pam is now even challenging herself again by undertaking a Level 3 AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship, while also volunteering twice a week as a vaccine marshal.

“Women have so much to offer in business and society. You’re never too old to learn and it doesn’t matter where you are in your career – you need to keep evolving.”