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Invisible women in agribusiness

Posted: Apr 07, 2022 3 minute read SMART 210 views

eva-ramliMeet Eva Dyana Ramli. A General Manager in Sales for the Margarine & Shortening category in Indonesia. Of her two-decade long career in Sales, Eva has spent almost nine years with us. Described as a high-energy and persuasive professional by her colleagues, Eva’s confident demeanour is instantly conveyed by her bright eyes and broad smile. Here is a woman who has been almost unanimously nominated as an inspiration by those who have had a chance to work with her.

In an organisation of 100,000 people and 30,000 women employees, and in an industry that is traditionally known for its male-centric perspective, women role-models like Eva somehow manage to remain invisible to those outside her team. As an organisation, it is our responsibility to ensure we acknowledge women like her; Women who continue to work in anonymity, in spite of being leaders in their own right. There are so many women like Eva who are shattering stereotypes and inspiring teams of women and men.

This International Women’s Day, we decided to do something slightly unconventional to address the issue of gender bias. Our month-long #BREAKTHEBIAS campaign recognised both women and men, while it focused on building an inclusive culture that inspired us to acknowledge one another’s efforts, sans bias. While our women received a metaphorical gold cape for inspiring others at work, their nominators too received a red cape for being “bias breakers”.

We received more than a thousand nominations from across Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Europe. And we noticed one name that frequented the list of nominees – Eva Ramli. She had received the most nominations! We decided to reach out to Eva and find out more about her.

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“I am constantly looking out for ways in which I can help my team excel and grow. I believe in making them feel like we are a family and we need to support one another. I trust my team and encourage them to think like a business owner, while handling different situations at work. The idea is to enable them to remain passionate about their work, as though it were their own business they were running,” Eva explains, when asked about her leadership style and how she inspires her team.

According to Eva, “Building a team and a business is a challenging task. The true challenge lies in creating a strategy and ensuring that it can be implemented by the rest of the team and its supporting functions too, in order to impact business improvement.” She further adds that agribusiness can be challenging, for women and men. And it is during challenging times that we learn how the business treats all genders, she explains. So, how does Eva handle challenges?

This go-getter looks at every challenge as an opportunity to learn and prove one’s mettle. She firmly believes that every difficult task presents her with an opportunity to delve deeper into her work and broaden her understanding further. When asked where she gets her inspiration from, Eva says, “I believe in positivity. I aim big and focus on the positive things, in order to reach positive results. I simply enjoy what I do.”

Eva’s advice to others, who want to be a positive influence or inspiration at work, is “You don’t have to be like someone else. Just be yourself and give it your best! Be the best version of yourself and the rest will follow.” So, what’s next for this optimistic and fearless leader? “To continue to love what I do. And continue to do what I love”, Eva adds with a smile.

Every organisation needs to identify these invisible women – leaders like Eva who are often powering an entire team or inspiring our colleagues and other stakeholders, day after day. This means having the right policies in place, and ensuring equal career opportunities for all genders. Concurrently, we need to build a bias-free culture that acknowledges women’s contributions too. These efforts need to be ongoing and not limited to single day. This year, we launched the GARword, a growing vocabulary that identifies and replaces biased and non-inclusive language with inclusive words and phrases, for our everyday conversations.

As a responsible business, we believe in investing in women. Reach out to find out more.

If you would like to find out more about GAR’s Human and Labour Rights, read here.

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