International Women’s Day – CJ Lang & Son

Celebrating the influential women across convenience

Joanne Watson, HR director at CJ Lang & Son.

This post was written in collaboration with CJ Lang & Son.

Joanne Watson, HR director at CJ Lang & Son

How is diversity & inclusion a key foundation at your own organisation?

At CJ Lang & Son, our culture is grounded in our values, and this allows everyone who joins up with us the chance to thrive in a company that is going through an exciting growth period.

We recognise that diversity strengthens our intentions, thoughts and actions and furthers this growth. We want every employee to feel like they’re a part of our success and that we have an open culture that fosters inclusion and values employee contribution.

Do you feel a positive culture being in place helps you cement business relationships? 

Yes, positivity breeds positivity and allows relationships to flourish. No-one wants to work in a negative space. Culture is paramount and our stores are excellent examples of being positive spaces in local communities.

Tell us about your own success story, positive experiences etc?

I have worked in retail for many years and love the pace and energy that comes from working in a retail environment. I have been lucky to work with excellent teams who have valued HR input and really put their people first.

CJ Lang truly puts people at the heart of its business, and this allows me the opportunity to work with a first-class HR team who go above and beyond to support the wider business and are valued for that.

What opportunities are there for career evolution within your company?

We are constantly moving and evolving and, as we do, so do our career opportunities. Many of our employees have worked in different areas of the business and have been able to forge long-lasting, rewarding careers.

What has your experience been like as a woman working in your field? 

Really positive – I have been lucky to work with leaders who have valued gender diversity in their top teams and organisations.

In CJ Lang there is a strong representation of women on the executive board and our chief executive, Colin McLean is a great supporter of equality in all areas of the business.

What challenges have you overcome in the past in this regard?

I think we have all come across some individuals who have been dismissive or scoffed at gender inequality, especially early on in my career.

Luckily, nowadays these people are being called out – we have a much stronger voice now and need to use it when we see anyone being treated unfairly.


Click here to read more about the inspiring and influential women working across the convenience retail sector.