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Meet Jennifer, our champion for ‘Your charity of Choice’ Program

"I have found within MDLZ that if you have a passion or a topic you care about, there will always be an opportunity to contribute."

Jennifer Norton, Sustainable Ingredients Sourcing Specialist

Thursday, April 18, 2024

What is your role at MDLZ?

I have worked for MDLZ for almost nine years and have had several roles across the business, including within Research & Development, Product Change Management, Customer Service & Logistics, and now in Procurement.

My current role is a Sustainable Ingredients Sourcing Specialist. In this role, I work with external suppliers and across MDLZ functions to ensure we work towards a more sustainable supply chain to reach our sustainability goals. I have been keen to do a role within sustainability for quite a while, as having a role where I can positively impact people and the planet is important to me.

Who is Jennifer outside work?

I live in Birmingham with my husband, and I love reading, doing crafts, yoga, and being outside planting flowers in our new garden. I am also currently doing the Couch to 5K program! I also run SustainaBrum, a website and Instagram page where we showcase sustainability in Birmingham (whose nickname is “Brum”). I am close to my family and love spending time with my mum, dad, brother, sister, nieces, and nephews. I also love socializing with friends.

Tell us about your story behind actively supporting charities and resource groups.

My husband and I started trying for a baby in 2020. However, sadly, over the last 4 years, we have experienced many losses, including having an ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants in the wrong place, usually the fallopian tube), multiple miscarriages, and failed rounds of IVF. My journey to growing our family and the grief that I have suffered along the way is a huge part of who I am and has changed me and my outlook on life in so many ways. I also feel that sharing your vulnerabilities is where you build trust and connections with others. I have tried to see the positives of this experience by taking many opportunities to share my story, raise money for charity, and help others.

This journey has also allowed me to make incredibly close friendships with colleagues I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise. I have always felt that MDLZ is a place where we can bring our true, authentic selves to work, and this culture has allowed me to feel empowered to share my story. Within the UK, we also have a strong Families Network, which has multiple subgroups, including one of baby loss and fertility, which has given me a place to share my story openly, including during Baby Loss Awareness Week in October, where I have joined other colleagues by sharing my story via our internal social networks.

Jennifer Norton - Tommy's Walk for Hope

Tell us more about The Cadbury Foundation’s Your Charity Your Choice program and why you decided to join.

Your Charity Your Choice is an annual program that allows MDLZ colleagues within the UK and Ireland business to nominate a registered charity that supports our local communities. The selected/ winning charities (through employee votes) will receive a grant from The Cadbury Foundation.

I think this is a fantastic opportunity as it gives every employee the chance to donate to a charity that is personally important to them – in my case, Tommy’s Baby Charity. Tommy’s exists to support, care for, and champion people, no matter where they may be on their pregnancy journey. They fund pioneering research to identify why pregnancy goes wrong to prevent complications and loss in the future; they offer specialist care for people at their clinics, provide expert, midwife-led advice for parents before, during, and after pregnancy, and advocate for and support those who have lost babies.

I really championed for Tommy’s to win the grant, sharing my story and why I’d nominated them in every forum I could think of! And it all paid off—I was thrilled to learn that Tommy’s had won! This grant has been allocated to a Vitamin D trial taking place at Tommy’s Miscarriage Centre in Birmingham.

What advice can you give to inspire and motivate others who might have the same experience as you?

Most people don’t share a pregnancy announcement until 12 weeks, but 80% of miscarriages occur during the first trimester, so support at this critical time may be sadly missing. I think it’s incredibly important to continue talking about miscarriage and baby loss and break the taboo surrounding it. Sadly, you never know when baby loss may touch you, a family member, a friend, or a colleague – one in four pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth. The Families Team has created a guidebook on pregnancy loss, which includes tips for line managers on having a conversation with a direct report and supporting the person back to work.

Sharing my story is an important part of accepting that this is the journey that we are on – knowing that I may have a positive impact on someone else, be it through sharing the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy so that they can seek medical help before it becomes life-threatening, being able to signpost them to support, or so that someone feels that they are not alone.

Can you share tips or strategies for making a difference in your own little way?

I have found within MDLZ that if you have a passion or a topic you care about, there will always be an opportunity to contribute. I would recommend finding out if a group of people is already working on something similar (for example, MDLZ already has many Inclusion@MDLZ and DEI networks, including Families, Race Relations, LGBTQ+, and Neurodiversity) and reaching out to them to see how you could get involved. National or International celebration days are also a good opportunity to amplify your interests and give us license to discuss a topic we care about. Make your impact matter.


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