We want to inspire more women to join the industry and set their sights for leadership.



The Grocery Girls is a non-profit organisation founded by Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food. Formed in 2018, our network was created when leaders across the industry came together and acknowledged the lack of female representation in senior positions. Our aim is to inspire and empower women into senior leadership, at all stages of their careers.

Women are often the ones making consumer purchasing decisions, but they’re still severely underrepresented in executive teams and on executive boards across the grocery industry.  That doesn’t make sense, does it? Surely we can do a better job of giving our customers what they want if they’re represented in our businesses? Shouldn’t women be visible, not only on executive boards, but at every stage of decision-making? 

Our founder Jo was appointed as Co-op’s Food CEO three years ago; she was the first and remains the only female grocery boss in the UK. We want to encourage greater diversity and equality by inspiring women to realise their full potential, channelling their talent and ambition to seize the opportunities they deserve and carve a career that works for them. 

We’re creating a community, helping to give women confidence and clarity to follow their chosen career path. Anyone can join; members come from retailers and suppliers, and from those just starting out in the industry who want to lay the foundations of a successful career to those already occupying senior positions and looking to network and give back. 

We’re committed to promoting inclusion by sharing stories from a range of perspectives, bringing all backgrounds and genders into the conversation. Inspiring and connecting women is a huge part of that, but so is challenging bias and spreading the message to drive change. It’s our ambition to help everyone in the industry understand the importance of a diverse workforce; if we do that, maybe we’ll be able to create one.