Women who inspire women

Having seen the remarkable results of the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives among the organisations we work with, we decided to build on this success and share these inspiring stories to facilitate sharing of best practices and, most importantly, to show how many inspiring female role models are out there.

In this monthly Podcast hosted by Anna Gromadzka, we are reaching out to women who, like us, are passionate about improving diversity and inclusion across organisations, and who are willing to share their own success stories, to motivate and support other women currently in leadership roles or aspiring to achieve the same career paths.

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Episode 6 - Leading a Fourth-Generation Family Business

with Paula Salastie, CEO of Teknos Group

Paula Salastie, CEO of Teknos Group – a global coatings company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, with operations in 23 countries, 1,800 employees and net sales of approx. EUR 419 million in 2021.

Paula Salastie took over the company’s operations taking on the CEO role as the fourth-generation representative of the Kiikka family in 2015. She has worked in the company since 1997 and led the Group Board since 2011. Paula is also the majority owner of Teknos Group.

In this episode of Ways Women Lead, Paula shares insights on what it is like to be the CEO of a fourth-generation, family-owned business and why this dynamic creates unique opportunities for the business and its employees.

Paula also shared insights into her own leadership journey as well as advice on how to lead effectively, balancing a highly demanding role and priorities of the business with personal priorities.

Conversation highlights

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Episode 5 - Leadership in the Energy & Process Industries

with Pascale Begert - Managing Director & President of The Board of Directors - Varo Energy Tankstorage

Pascale has had a successful career over the past 20 years in the Process and Energy industries, having worked for multinational companies such as LANXESS and OMV and more recently Varo, which she joined in 2019.

A Mechanical Engineer by background, Pascale completed her PhD at Technical University of Vienna.

Varo is a leading European energy company, operating throughout the complete energy supply chain – trading, marketing, manufacturing, storage, distribution, and retail. VARO has recently announced a sector leading commitment to Net Zero by 2040, which is a key part of Varo’s strategy to become the energy transition partner of choice.

In this Episode of Ways Women Lead, Pascale shares what it is like to work for a business that is at the forefront of the energy transition as well as insights into her own leadership journey. We discussed various topics from driving a cultural change, through handling difficult conversations, to creating a psychological safety in organizations. Pascale also shares a very personal story, which became an inspiration for many in her organization and is a wonderful representation of an authentic leadership.

Conversation highlights

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Episode 4 - Taking D&I to The Next Level

with Mariana Delgado - Head of Business Development - Earthly

Mariana Delgado has had a fantastic career in sales over the past 10 years, having explored different industries from travel to climate change and technology, working in the UK, Australia, Portugal, France and Brazil, building teams, defining sales strategies and optimising products. She also worked as a lawyer for four years in private firms and international NGOs.

Currently, a Head of Business Development at Earthly – a platform for nature-based solutions that remove carbon, restore biodiversity & support local communities, where Mariana has the opportunity to realise her passion for sustainability and technology, while also driving initiatives related to Diversity & Inclusion.

Conversation highlights

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Episode 3 - Women in the Automotive Industry

with Melanie Schuttenberg - Vice President Business Development Europe - Flex Automotive

Melanie Schuttenberg is the Vice President Business Development Europe at Flex Automotive, the Automotive Division of Flex (formerly Flextronics), an electronics manufacturing company and an original design manufacturer.

Melanie has been working within the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. Having progressed through roles of increased responsibility, she gained experience working for leading global organisations such as TRW, Magna, and most recently Flex, which she joined in 2015.

Anna Gromadzka discusses with Melanie what a career in an automotive company looks like, how to build and grow diverse and inclusive teams, and how and why to advance own career in the automotive industry.

Conversation highlights

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Episode 2 - The Power of Role Models

with Charly Young - MBE, CEO & Co-founder of The Girls' Network

Why role models are important to achieving gender diversity, how can networking help to grow and develop oneself, what effective mentoring looks like, and more with Charly Young MBE, the CEO & Co-founder, The Girls' Network.

The Girls’ Network mission is to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional role models who are women.

Charly founded The Girls’ Network with her friend Becca in 2013, whilst they were teaching in secondary schools in North West London. The Girls’ Network mission is to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional role models who are women. Charly’s background is in education that supports the whole child, and the use of networks to facilitate this. Prior to teaching, she worked at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) as an education researcher, and with Whole Education supporting school leadership teams.

She is passionate about the use of networks to empower, support and mobilise people, and believes that good mentoring can be transformational, for both mentor and mentee.

Conversation highlights

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Episode 1 - Women in Tech

with Michelle Cowan - former Client Director at Cisco and Co-founder of socialsendr

We want more women in Tech!

Former Client Director at Cisco and co-founder of socialsendr, Michelle Cowan has had a successful career in Technology for over 25 years, 17 of them spent at Cisco. Recently, Michelle co-founded socialsendr – a marketing technology company - and is also an owner of Justo Associates – a sales strategy consultancy. She holds a Non-Executive Director position at two other companies - Torchbearer Interactive Ltd, a software development business, and Santini7, a sports nutrition business. Also, a Trustee at the Denby Dale Centre - an independent local charity.

In this conversation, Michelle shared why she continues to be fascinated by technology and what a career in tech looks like as well as a practical advice on how to start and grow career in tech and how to attract more women to tech.

Conversation highlights