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Vicky Woods, Business Executive Officer Nestlé Nutrition

I have been in Nestlé 19 years and over that time have had the privilege to have worked in 5 categories and 9 roles across the commercial functions. I enjoy general management because of the broad spectrum of topics that I get involved in and I just really enjoy running a business. I see my role in the Nutrition team as steering the business to delivering against our commitment to provide the best possible solutions for Infants and Parents across the first 1000 Days.

Why are balanced teams better for the business?

I have found that working in teams that have diversity, and with that balance, brings with it an environment where you are more accepted in truly being yourself. We are at our most productive when we are happy and being ourselves at work, so it makes complete sense to me that diversity and balance are essential for a business to thrive. It also brings with it different perspectives and broader thinking, and as an outcome more rounded holistic plans.

What do you feel we need to do more of to create more of a balance in our organisation?

As an organisation we have a real commitment to diversity. The starting point to creating more balance is to understand and address the barriers that are in the way, whether that be reviewing how we manage career planning, ways of working or policies.

What can leaders do personally to make a difference so all our people feel valued and included?

Feeling valued and included starts with a sense of belonging, and I think that anyone who manages people should understand what this means for their teams as individuals. We are all different and so is what we need. There is also real value in individuals being proactive in sharing what they need to bring the best of themselves to work.

Who has inspired you either personally or professionally and why?

There have been many people who have inspired me. What they all have in common is a desire to make a real positive lasting impact that is beyond themselves. They have the courage to face their fears and are willing to be criticised, to be vulnerable, and to keep standing up every time they get knocked down for what they believe in. Some are famous such as the Dalai Lama, Malala Yousafzai, and Maya Angelou. But others are not well known, they are in my family, my friends and work colleagues. They all inspire me.