To mark International Women’s Day 2023, we’ve gathered our best advice for women in the rubber industry.
Take charge of your career by defining your goals. Above all, identify and document your ultimate long-term goals and reflect on why they are important to you. Then break these down into smaller short-term actions, and commit to developing the necessary skills to achieve these. Try to do one action each week that puts you on this path. This intentional approach is even more important when you are a woman working in a predominantly male environment, and when our cultures and traditions can see a woman’s professional work as an accessory or even a hobby. For this, I encourage women to dare; dare to assert themselves and dare to show their ambition.
Valerie Poka, Financial Controller – Hevecam Plantation, Cameroon
Search for the value in feedback or criticism. You always have a choice and can do whatever you’d like with the information you have been given, including doing nothing. Although it’s always worth listening closely to it, asking for clear examples, and considering whether this feedback is a building block for future growth. Remember that it only relates to one (often small and specific) area of your work and is not a criticism of you as a person. This will help you to move on and become better from it!
Astrid Hamelink, QHSE Manager – Kelvin Terminals, Netherlands
Good organisation is essential. I rely on applications such as Win 11 or Trello to manage all my projects with clear categorisation. It reminds me of the regular to-do list items that I need deal with daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly – as well as enabling me to mark any urgent items as high-priority. Plus, in terms of time management, it can be beneficial to set aside 30 minutes at the start of the day to complete all tasks or unsent emails that take under 5 minutes each to complete. By quickly removing these items from your to-do list, it’s less daunting and you start the day with a sense of achievement.
Lu LingYun, Business Manager – China
Ensure that your achievements are visible to others. Remember that people won’t always notice your skillsets or successes unless you draw attention to them. So know your self-worth and don’t be too humble! It is not enough to be ambitious and passionate about your job, you also need to communicate this. Be stubborn, thick-skinned and show that you bring different qualities to the table.
Theresa Fuehrer, Operational Excellence Manager – Germany
Integrate procedures into your day. This is the optimal way to produce consistent results and demonstrate reliability. Creating flow-charts or checklists for daily actions tends to boost my efficiency by reducing the need to make new decisions every day. In my line of work, this includes regular checks on customs, imports, payments and transportation. By following procedures, I’m confident that I can mitigate any problems, and gain all the information I need regarding my products and customers.
Senay Sari, Trade Logistics Coordinator – Turkey
Embrace life-long learning. Keep investing in yourself, as new knowledge will allow you to innovate and build awareness of how you can progress in your career. I’m currently studying an HR course (CIPD qualification) and can already see how this learning has inspired me to tackle new projects in the workplace. Although, you don’t need formal study to become knowledgeable on a subject – I’ve found that some of the best resources can be found in articles, books and YouTube videos.
Julia Lesnikova, HR Manager – London
Be open and flexible to a broad range of experiences. Learn as much as you can in areas that interest you and even in some areas that don’t. I’ve found that a diverse set of experiences is invaluable in building a rich career. You will experience pitfalls, hurdles, and hardships along the way but don’t let these derail you. Those will all be looked upon as opportunities one day, when you have overcome them and have learned from them. A career is rarely linear so enjoy the journey!
Lisa Evers, Logistics Manager – North America