This month’s Member Spotlight
Tanya Kopps, CEO of Makro Portugal
I am an American who has been living and working in Europe for over 17 years. In Metro, I started my career in our German headquarters working in controlling. After my experience in the headquarters, I moved closer to our operational business in a country unit. I have worked in Romania, UK, Hungary, Spain and now in Portugal for the last two years. I am currently the CEO of Makro Portugal leading a team of over 900 employees in 10 stores.
Why is diversity important for you?
From a business perspective, I see the case for diversity very clearly – better reflection of the demographics of our customers within our own business. This leads to stronger decision making by bringing more and diverse perspectives into the discussion. On a more personal note, I am a woman, and I am often the only woman in the meeting room. I would like to see more women in those meetings, and I want to do my part to make that a reality within my organization and beyond. This is the reason that I became involved with LEAD.
What is your history at LEAD? Your perspective on LEAD and what advice would you have for us?
I actively have been involved with LEAD since May 2015 and currently serve as the Chairperson of the Membership Committee and part of the Steering Committee. I think that LEAD is a wonderful organization to bring higher awareness to diversity. I particularly value the scope of LEAD as it is an European organization for retail and FMCG because it provides a unique connection not only about diversity but also business networking in sectors that naturally work together.
Tell us about something innovative you’ve done recently related to diversity?
In 2015 as part of LEAD, the membership committee started a Champion Program in which one individual is identified for either a retail or FMCG company to serve as the liaison between their company and LEAD. The idea is to create a community in which companies can share about their experiences within LEAD as well as to provide the individual different opportunities within their own organization for growth and development. We currently have 10 Champions and would like to add value for the Champion companies and LEAD. If you are interested in becoming a Champion for your organization, the Membership Committee would love to discuss that opportunity with you.
How important is diversity within your organization?
Inclusion and diversity are important topics in my organization. As our CEO, Olaf Koch, will be doing the opening keynote speech at the LEAD Networking Event, I encourage each of you to participate and hear directly from our CEO about the importance of diversity.
What is your biggest achievement related to diversity?
I see diversity as a topic for everyday. I want to serve as a role model for young leaders and be someone that is open to discuss, or even just listen, as a mentor, coach, colleague and friend. I have many conversations with young leaders, both men and women, about their careers and life ambition. I also am participating in the first Mentoring Program offered by LEAD this year. I enjoy these opportunities to help others as well as to learn myself.