Arrival Education
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Arrival Education

“If we want to see real change at pace, it has to start from the top”

For our latest interview with the participants of the Tesco Inclusive Leadership programme, we spoke to Sarah Bradbury, Tesco Group Quality Director and Priety Nahar, a second-year mathematics student at the University of Manchester. Sarah’s been with Tesco for 18 years working across several departments in the business, while Priety is very much at the start of her career. They both spoke with huge enthusiasm about their experience on the programme and how it has impacted their personal and professional lives.

Sarah Bradbury and Priety Nahar

Why did you want to be part of the Arrival programme and what were you hoping to gain from it?

Priety: A friend of mine had taken part in this programme and I was drawn to how much I would learn, grow my network and form a close relationship with a senior business leader. I also wanted to do something that matters and create sustainable change at Tesco.

Sarah: My colleagues have been on the previous programmes and there was a buzz at Tesco with lots of conversation and initiatives developed around their experiences. I felt I was aware of the issues surrounding D&I but I soon realised that my understanding was abstract and I needed it to be deeper and more real.

Can you share something about your pairing with each other and what you’ve learned from getting to know each other?

Sarah: I don’t often get to talk to people of Priety’s age and background on a personal level. It was wonderful to hear about her experiences as they are so different to mine. She’s opened my eyes to what her world is like and the barriers she has faced. It meant a lot to me that Priety was so open as I felt comfortable having conversations that challenged me.

Priety: Sarah is someone who proves you can have it all and it’s inspired me. Especially as a woman in the corporate world, she has risen to a senior position while raising a family and living life to the fullest.

What were the key moments for you in terms of your relationship and the wider programme?

Sarah: There was a key session where I could see we had really built trust and confidence in each other and we opened up more. On the community tour, I loved going to Priety’s school and meeting some of her peers which really brought home to me some of the challenges that diverse talent face.

Priety: The community tour solidified our relationship as the concepts we had been discussing become a reality for Sarah. We spoke to some friends I went to school with and Sarah got to see more of the world I grew up in through them.

Priety Nahar and Sarah Bradbury

What impact has the programme had on you, both professionally and personally?

Priety: Personally, it has given me lots more confidence. It’s helped me shed that imposter syndrome and opened my eyes to the professional world on a much deeper level. Sarah has put me in contact with lots of people who can help me develop my career further.

I’ve also made a new friend in Sarah.

Sarah: It has had a big impact on my personal and professional life. I am so much more conscious of my habits and feel more confident to start potentially challenging conversations. I am actively speaking to colleagues with experiences different to mine so I can make better decisions for everyone.

“It’s helped me shed that imposter syndrome and opened my eyes to the professional world on a much deeper level.”- Priety

Why do you think it’s important for business leaders to take part in programmes like this one?

Sarah: It has to start from the top if we want to see real change at pace. People also need role models so it’s important for leaders to empower others to do the same. Unless you understand the barriers someone may be facing, change will take a long time and as a result, businesses will be left behind.

Priety: It’s a hard topic to talk about. If you see your boss taking that step, others feel more comfortable to jump on board and this opens the conversation up for change to happen.

What have you done and what are you planning to do to make Tesco a place where socially and ethnically diverse talent can succeed?

Sarah: We have already had two events aimed at connecting people to discuss topics around D&I. We’ve opened up our kitchens and invited community groups and different Tesco teams to create a space for everyone to get to know each other. Over 300 people from across Tesco’s various businesses have taken part and we are only on our second event. We also made it interactive to encourage more connection and get people talking to one another. There is still so much to do but the conversation has definitely started and I feel we are on the right track.

“I am so much more conscious of my habits and feel more confident to start potentially challenging conversations.”- Sarah

Sarah Bradbury and Priety Nahar

What are your hopes and expectations looking ahead?

Priety: It’s prompted some important career choices. I thought I wanted to go into finance but the programme made me realise I want to get my AcA qualification and maybe become an accountant. I feel we are at the beginning of our relationship but I hope we have made a long-lasting impact and will see change happen within Tesco.

Sarah: I’m keen to continue to learn from Priety as she continues on her journey. I am also excited about the journey Tesco is on as many leaders have taken part in the programme now and we are actively making changes.



An award-winning organisation, Arrival Education has more than 13 years of experience helping leading businesses become more diverse and inclusive. We help businesses recruit, retain and develop socially and ethnically diverse young talent and help the talent achieve success.

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