I worked with Marks & Spencer for 21 years, including 10 years as head of sustainability there. I left in 2018 to work with non-government organisations and I started working with Specsavers on a consultancy basis. I split my time between Specsavers and as a fellow at the University of Cambridge, where I work with several businesses to put sustainability at their heart. The role is incredibly useful because I’m learning for myself and for Specsavers, taking some of the trends from global business, as well as the good and bad approaches from elsewhere that we can apply to Specsavers.
I joined Marks & Spencer when it was still a family business and saw it become publicly listed, but Specsavers has remained very much family-orientated. Both have a sense of care for the customers, but I just saw a different and deeper dimension of that at Specsavers. I think that comes from the desire to improve people’s health outcomes through sight and hearing, but over time, I’ve realised that care characteristic also applies to colleagues and the partnerships the company has with thousands of joint venture partners businesses all over the world.