I’ve been privileged to have experienced an amazing career in Nestlé which started 27 years ago straight from university. One of my biggest motivators for joining Nestlé Research was to see the world – I have definitely done that having lived and worked in five different countries and having visited, supported many more. These cultural and work experiences have also resulted in me picking up 3 new languages along the way – French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Over my 27 years at Nestle I have contributed to and led teams in R&D, Manufacturing, Applications and the Confectionery Strategic Business Unit.
Why do balanced teams matter?
Balanced teams are better for the business as they bring a diversity and richness of thinking and solutions that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve. The word balance not only means gender but also culture – we have over 25 nationalities in the NPTC and experts in product, engineering, nutrition, design, consumer, packaging, science and many more subject areas – this diversity of disciplines brings with it a breadth and depth of creativity, ideas and ultimately amazing innovation opportunities.
From a gender perspective I have worked in teams where there have been more and less women. Having the right balance is critical to business performance and in particular helping an organisation deliver with a level of efficiency and effectiveness that is not the same when you don’t have the right balance of genders. I truly believe that gender balanced organisations are high achieving “winning” organisations.
What do you feel we need to do more of to create more of a balance in our organisation?
I think that across Nestlé we need both male and female leaders to own and drive the cause for gender balance within their organisations. I don’t think that maintaining this as a HR target or goal will get us there. I also think that if we shared more of the successes with each other (like through Workplace) and show case organisations within Nestlé that are getting it right, it would inspire others to start acting.
What can leaders do personally make a difference so all our people feel valued and included?
I am a strong believer in staying close to your people, always making time for your people and being as authentic as possible, keeping things informal. By doing this as leaders we have a greater chance of measuring the true pulse of our organisations and helping shape the future to WIN.
Who has inspired you either personally or professionally and why?
That’s a difficult question as a number of people have inspired me over the course of my life – personally the one person that has always stood out is my mother. She was an extraordinary women with an energy, drive, resilience, humility and selflessness that was truly exceptional.
From a work perspective there have been at least four leaders for whom I have worked for that really stand out for the way they connect, unite and value people, their business vision and direction and finally their charisma and personality.