This year’s United Nations International Women’s Day 2022 theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” prompts dialogue on an issue more relevant than ever.
We asked some inspirational female leaders from across our markets to reflect on what the theme means to them. Here’s what they had to say:
Maria Paulinz, Head of Corporate Finance & Control, Finance
“With half of the world’s population women, it is important to have a solid, balanced foundation that will allow for a sustainable future. By achieving gender equality, there will be more access to education, which in turn will create more women in leadership roles and more women being involved in decision-making processes. It is important to have more than one perspective on issues that impact the future of our world and by achieving gender balance we will be in a better position to create a sustainable future.”
Escarlata Loncan, General Manager Iberia, Business Area Europe
“Having a diversity of people brings different points of view, it fosters growth and opens new ways of thinking and better ideas. In Electrolux Iberia, 50% of the leaders are women. We have a broad mix and embrace diversity; we like to be different. We want everyone as they are, not just to feel welcome, but to be part of the team. It’s not theory, it’s something we see and live every day.”
Kesha Ivey, Director, Accounting, Reporting & Shared Services, Business Area North America
“I never gave it much thought when choosing a career – I was just looking for a role that best aligned with my strengths, goals and passions. But coming into Electrolux 14 years ago and realizing how male-dominated it was then, my perspective was, ‘Make room – I’m coming through’, because I’ve come too far to turn around now.”
Ana Vernaza, Andean General Manager, Business Area Latin America
“Gender equality and diversity in general allow us to see and analyze life and the future completely. We are a wonderful mixture of ideas, positions, points of view, experiences, ages that enrich decisions. This equality allows us to fully see and analyze the alternatives to build a more sustainable future.”
Angelia Oh, Category Director Product Line Care, Business Area Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
“By giving women equal access to employment, skills, training, education, health etc, they will be able to chart their own path and future, be independent and self-sufficient. They will be able to raise their own family with the right values and knowledge, passed on generation after generation. Do not think about ‘glass ceiling’. Do not be bothered by the fact that you’re a woman and think that this limits what you can do.”
Anja Ullrich, Global Talent Acquisition Director, HR
“Women are the most vulnerable group affected by climate change. In addition, gaps still exist, whether we’re talking about a gender pay gap or a gender care gap, as women remain the predominant care givers in large parts of the world. Yet, despite shouldering the lion’s responsibility of care giving and household management, we consistently find ourselves in positions of leadership. We are a strong and powerful group with the ability to educate others, shape decisions while influencing fast- and slow-moving consumables and resource consumption. Our impact on creating a sustainable future should not be underestimated.”
Sherine Garrana, Head of Consumer Experience Area Wellbeing
“Dare to seek and grab the opportunities that you feel are fit for you and for what you’re passionate about. Also dare to ask for what you believe you deserve. I think we women sometimes feel ‘this is not for us’ because maybe there aren’t many other women in that field or in leadership positions. I think it’s quite important to believe that it is for us. It’s about creating your own opportunities. Dare to ask!”
Helena Babelon, Head of IT Sustainability, Group Operations
“My daughter has just started high school and chose to attend a technical IT-focused school. Out of 130 students, only 14 are girls. I tell her that even though you feel outnumbered, you as a girl can bring so much to the table. You can add another viewpoint to the conversation, developing more adapted or sustainable solutions that are more representative of the diverse world in which we live.”
Karin Sjölund, HRBP Director Group IT
“When everyone’s voice is heard and recognized, we contribute to and feel a sense of belonging at Electrolux.”
What is International Women’s Day?
The theme for the UN International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” to recognize the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.
Read more about IWD 2022 here.