2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Julia Mallett (Q&A)


Rising star

Julia Mallett
Manager Retail Operations, Customer Experience & Learning & Development

How did you get into the grocery business?
When I was in high school, I applied at our local Sobeys in Cole Harbour, N.S. where my family had always shopped. At the time, I was looking for a part-time job, not realizing that it would turn into a career that I loved. Sobeys has given me many opportunities to give back to the community where I grew up while progressing my career.

Proudest moment?
In 2019, I was part of the committee that launched the Women’s Inclusion Network in Atlantic Canada for our store colleagues. It was exciting to create a platform to bring women together to share their stories and support each other personally and professionally. We have a great leadership team that promotes an inclusive and equitable work environment who helped bring this network to life.

What's your leadership style/philosophy?
Someone once said to me, “With the stores, for the stores,” and it has always stuck with me. Through everything I do, I focus on collaborating with our store colleagues to keep our customers top of mind when making decisions.

Career highlight/greatest achievements?
Sobeys was recently the first national grocer to eliminate single-use plastic checkout bags. Leading the transition for our store operations team and saying goodbye to 225 million plastic bags annually was one of the proudest moments in my 14 years with Sobeys. It takes everyone to be part of the solution and find new and different ways to drive real and meaningful changes in our communities. Eliminating plastic checkout bags is only our first step, and I’m excited about what’s to come as we look into other sustainable solutions.

Biggest challenge faced in your career? And how did you overcome that challenge?
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work out west for a year, which meant many trips across the country and time away from family and friends. Instead of focusing on what I was missing at home, I took the opportunity to develop new skills and expand my network while also exploring the West Coast. Taking advantage of different opportunities outside of my comfort zone has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally throughout my career at Sobeys.

What do you like most about your job?
It is always changing and evolving. Every day brings a new challenge, adventure and opportunity to learn, grow and build new relationships. I’m proud to work for a company that prioritizes supporting our communities, sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. We have a fantastic team at Sobeys that promotes many opportunities to learn and progress within the company. Every day presents a chance to grow, and I look forward to continuing to learn and be a mentor to other women in the business while encouraging positive change.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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