LEAD Network Ambassadors

LEAD Network is growing, and to support our development and maximise the involvement of our Partner companies, Partner Ambassadors play a crucial role. We want to introduce our valued Partner Ambassadors who help us to achieve our mission, to attract, retain and advance women throughout the consumer goods and retail industry. We are grateful for their current contributions to LEAD Network and the industry.
We look forward to doing even more together in the future.

Heba El Mahdy
Country Director Egypt & Horn of Africa, Johnson &Johnson Consumer

Heba studied pharmaceutical sciences at the Cairo University. Then she got an MBA degree from American University (ACU).
She has 17 years of experience in marketing, commercial and general management.

“Throughout my career I have often found myself the only woman in the room. As much I have been thrilled to have been given a seat at the table, I have always felt that my role necessitates helping other women advance & be heard.
I have recently joined the Women Leadership & Inclusion steering committee at J&J as well as becoming the company’s LEAD Ambassador which is an outstanding opportunity to realize my objectives.
In the past few months, I have been quite impressed with all the ambassadors, chapters and volunteers that dedicate a lot of time and energy to add value & make a difference. I really hope that together we would unleash the courage in every working woman, help her realize her dreams & deservingly get one more seat at the table”

Silke Trost
Global Marketing Director Nielsen

I joined Nielsen fifteen years ago. Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. During those fifteen years, I held a variety of leadership roles in Marketing & Communications for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and also for MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan) when I was based in Dubai. For the last three years, I worked in global roles and in my current role I’m working as Global Marketing Director.

“LEAD Network is a great way not only to engage but also to learn with and from other leaders in the FMCG and retail industry. The mission to contribute to advancing diversity and inclusion within Europe is critical for all of us and especially the theme of ‘Doing not Trying’ describes for me the best way moving forward. That is also the reason why I’m a volunteer for the LEAD Network – I want to be an active part of the change for the better and not only a bystander.”

Francis Hoefman
SVP HR Hygiene/Home

Francis joined RB in February 2013. Her international career within the company includes many HR roles of increasing responsibility across multiple geographies. She led HR across NAMET (North Africa, Middle East Turkey and Pakistan), Northern Europe ANZ (UK, Ireland, Nordics and ANZ) and ENA (Europe and North America) prior to her current role.

Prior to joining RB, Francis built up extensive FMCG HR experience as HR Director Benelux for HJ Heinz, preceded by multiple years at Mars.

Francis is passionate about diversity in its broadest sense and within RB she is an executive supporter of the DARE programme – designed to Develop, Attract and Retain talented women for RB.

Francis has a Masters in Law from Maastricht University and a post-graduate degree in Labour Law from Grotius Academy in the Netherlands.

“With our Foundation Partnership, we have the opportunity to learn from other companies and see how we can re-apply. Also, the network accelerates the results we can achieve.

Really making a difference can only happen when we collaborate for this bigger purpose; LEAD Network contributes well to that collaboration.”

Laura Halfas
Head of Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG

Laura, has more than 15 years of experience in retail.
Before starting her career in METRO Laura worked for different retail and consulting companies in buying, sales and the IT division. In 2008 she joined METRO, where she worked for 7 years in the Supply Chain Management IT division. She started as Consultant and Project Manager. She worked on and led different international Supply Chain IT projects. After a long time in Supply Chain IT Laura changed to Customer Marketing IT. In 2015 she became the Department Manager for eCommerce, Marketing Operations & Traceability.
End of 2017 Laura decided to follow her passion and become Head of Corporate Responsibility, focusing on Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Citizenship.
For more than 4 years Laura is part of the leadership team of METRO’s internal Women Network (Women in Trade). Since that time she is also deeply involved in the LEAD Network, where she was part of the Conference Committee from 2015 – 2018. Since 2018 she has been the Vice Chair of the LEAD Network Germany Chapter.
Laura has a 3 years old daughter and has been married with her husband for 11 years. They have been in a partnership for 20 years now. Her husband supports her a lot. He is a full-time dad at home so that Laura can really focus on her career and knows he’s her back.

Her inspiration is her paternal grandmother, who studied pharmacy at university, bore five children and went on to pursue a career in politics as the first female mayor of her home town. Her example taught Laura that women can achieve anything they want to achieve.
Laura is fully aware that not all women have this kind of inspiration in their life. Therefore she works with a lot of passion in the LEAD Network and with Women in Trade to inspire more women and to cause a change into more women in leadership positions in the Retails and Consumer Goods Industry.

Jemima Bradbury-Wade
Head of Diversity, Culture and Engagement Communication for PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa

Jemima Bradbury-Wade is Head of Diversity, Culture and Engagement Communications for PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her role reflects PepsiCo’s legacy and continued commitment to raising the bar on talent and diversity.
Prior to PepsiCo, Jemima worked both in-house and agency side in Marcomms and Corporate Communications, working on large-scale consumer campaigns for the likes of Starbucks and Colgate-Palmolive, alongside time spent in media at the Daily Mail Group followed by some years in e-commerce.
Her Anthropology BSc from University College London was the catalyst for all of the above, alongside her relentless curiosity in people. Under PepsiCo’s mantra – “What makes you unique, makes us better” – Jemima knows that together we can achieve so much more, with inclusion creating advantages for businesses, and for the people at the heart of them.

Fatma Tek
Global Portfolio & Operations Manager Unilever, The Netherlands

Fatma Tek is Global Portfolio & Operations Manager at Food Solutions (UFS) division of Unilever since 2018.
Fatma joined Unilever in 2010 and has been responsible for European hair category portfolio including Tresemme, Dove, Tony&Guy, Axe, Clear and Love Beauty & Planet brands.
Her main role was implementation of successful innovations where brand purposes have been combined with strong business results. Prior to joining Unilever, Fatma’s career started as a scientist at P&G R&D. Starting in 2008, she was defining formulation strategies based on consumer understanding & business objectives for fabric care unit. She is 2007 graduate of Bogazici University, Faculty of Science.
Fatma is a strong believer in diversity in all forms; gender, ethnicity and bringing this passion into action as being LEAD Network Ambassador in Unilever. LEAD Network’s mission is to attract, retain and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industry through education, leadership and business development.
Fatma is traditional folklore dancer and loves travelling with her husband and son.

‘Let’s work from purpose for the good of others’

Susan Sampson
Supply Chain Configuration and Planning at Waitrose & Partners
Susan is Manager, Supply Chain Configuration and Planning at Waitrose & Partners. In this role she is responsible for the day-to-day operational leadership of central forecasting, capacity management and order scheduling. She joined Waitrose & Partners in 1996, working in a number of management roles within Supply Chain, initially focussed on supplier ordering and forecasting, and then more recently taking responsibility for the Supply Chain Configuration and Planning Team. Prior to joining Waitrose, Susan was a Food Supply Officer in the British Army, completing one operational tour in Croatia as part of the UN Peacekeeping Force. Susan is married to Kevin, they live in rural Hampshire and she regularly visits her family in Scotland
“I have been a LEAD Ambassador since Waitrose & Partners became a Bronze Partner in 2018. I have to be honest – I wasn’t that familiar with the LEAD Network before I took on this role and I have been amazed at the energy, enthusiasm and passion displayed by everyone involved. I have introduced LEAD to many other Waitrose Partners and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with women from across our business wanting to understand more about the network and how they can get involved. LEAD is exactly the sort of organisation we need to help women develop their potential, build their confidence and achieve great things in the retail sector.”
Thomas Allmark
Director of Inclusion and Diversity for Europe, India, Middle East and Africa

Tom is Director of Inclusion and Diversity for Europe, India, Middle East and Africa at CHEP. He joined CHEP in 2006 and has held numerous roles in Finance, Customer Service and Project and Program Management. He has extensive experience of leading teams through periods of cultural, organisational and operational change as well as managing functional alignments, systems implementations and business process redesign. He is passionate about building a truly inclusive culture where diversity can thrive and be leveraged to deliver enhanced customer and employee experiences. During his career Tom has lived in France, Spain, Germany and South Africa. He now lives in London.

“Being part of the LEAD Network is a great way of learning what other organisations are doing to promote gender balance and sharing our own learnings with other members. It’s a fantastic group of hard-working, dedicated and passionate individuals; one that I feel very privileged to be a part of. Driving the Inclusion and Diversity agenda can be a daunting – and sometimes lonely – task and at it really helps to know that I’m part of a supportive community committed to making real change happen.”

Ana Bostan
Manager Kalypso
Ana is delivering on the promise of digital product development innovation across several industries as a Manager at Kalypso. She is deploying global technology implementation for her clients. She has studied and lived in over five countries and is conversant in over six languages. Acknowledging the archetypical gender imbalance in the consulting industry she has engaged in supporting the gender parity driving efforts in her organization via advocating for LEAD Network’s cause as well as internal training and coaching promising women at Kalypso.

“The number one reason I’m drawn to LEAD is the authenticity of its team and its cause. I believe that the success the LEAD Network is enjoying is driven by two factors – its team dedication and enthusiasm & the added value it provides to its members. I’m honored and excited to be supporting the LEAD Network cause”

Marie Dousova
Business Executive Officer for Nestle Professional CEE

Marie Dousova is currently working in Central and Eastern Europe, as Business Executive Officer for Nestle Professional CEE. During last almost 5 years she has been heading Sales and Customers Management for Nestlé Zone Europe, Middle East & North Africa (Z- EMENA), being a Member of Nestlé’s Z-EMENA Management Team.

She joined Nestlé in August 1993 in Czech Republic following her previous experience in Biotechnology science and research. During her career with Nestle, Marie has performed gradually in different commercial and business positions in Czech and Slovak Republic, Russia, Hungary and she has been appointed as a Country Manager in Baltic Region before taking her Zone role.
Marie is a member of Youth Employment Initiative Steering Committee passionate about mentoring and coaching young talents.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Marie Dousova has graduated from the Charles University Prague as Master in Biophysics, her PhD. has obtained from Czech Academy of Sciences in Biotechnology and MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Marie is married with two children

“I have been joining LEAD Network in 2014 as its mission of advancing women in consumer goods industry through education, leadership and business development resonated very well with my personal values and commitment. I strongly believe that both men and women should have the same opportunities to develop themselves and progress in their career aspirations. While working in LEAD Network Swiss Chapter or as Nestle Ambassador in LEAD. I have been inspired by many great experience of my LEAD colleagues and also had a chance to share my experience and our company best practice with others. We all of us have a role to contribute on this journey towards Diversity and Inclusion.”

Marita Alegre
European R&D Director at CHURCH & DWIGHT UK LTD

Marita started as a scientist in Spain, moved to Germany and Belgium with P&G R&D and she’s now leading the European R&D Organization with Church & Dwight UK Inc.
She has raised also a family of 3 and She has always been actively engaged in organizational activities that encourage Women at leadership positions. 

“I believe on the power of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION as a strategy to achieve best results. LEAD Network is helping us in our journey to Diversity and Inclusion.
I volunteered at the LEAD Network conference in Brussel and since then I have been closely connected to the LEAD Network . It provides guidance and encourages women in my organization to not just trying but doing to take on leadership roles”.

Katrin Hoelter
Managing Director and Partner at DHL Consulting

Katrin is a Managing Director and Partner at DHL Consulting, the independent strategic supply chain and management consultancy of Deutsche Post DHL Group. DHL Consulting employs 100 consultants globally, and Katrin is responsible for the supply chain (SC) practice, providing consulting services to DHL customers – with a focus on the Consumer and Retail sector. Her specialties include SC optimization and digitalization, as well as organizational governance and design. Since joining DHL Consulting in late 2003, Katrin has been eager to attract more women to DHL Consulting and to convince them that being a professional consultant and having a family are not mutually exclusive – despite this still being a widely held belief amongst young female graduates; particularly amongst those considering a career in the male-dominated logistics industry. Katrin is married and has 2 boys aged seven and four.

“I’m delighted to be DHL Consulting’s ambassador in the LEAD network because I have experienced the benefits of working in diverse environments in my career and want to help make such environments the norm, rather than the exception. Diverse teams drive success not just through financial results but also in improving company cultures and creating workplaces that are innovative, intelligent, and creative. The opportunity LEAD provides to network, engage, and exchange with other leaders who are passionate about supporting female professionals is invaluable, and I’m sure I’ll meet some inspirational people along the way. I’m particularly looking forward to taking an active role in the LEAD Supply Chain chapter to help attract, retain, and develop more strong female leaders in this field.”

Jane Kidd
European Talent & Diversity Manager at Kellogg’s
“My interest for getting involved in LEAD stems from my passion for developing people to realise their full potential and the barriers that are often faced especially for women. I have mentored students throughout my career and more recently led a maternity coaching programme to support employees through this life changing transition. In my role at Kellogg’s I lead on the D & I strategy for Europe and whilst gender equality is a key focus of ours, broadening our understanding of Diversity & Inclusion is a big part of my work. LEAD fits with our European business as it is industry specific and offers us the opportunity to provide an external network for our employees to get involved in. I am looking forward to Kellogg’s working more closely with LEAD over the coming years. 

My first job in retail was as a 14 year old in our local Post Office. I loved serving customers and the conversations that I became part of. Following graduating in Business Studies I built on my passion for people and worked for a management consultancy on People Change Projects. I then completed an MBA whilst pregnant with my first child and decided to work for myself for a couple of years, mainly in the area of management development.

Most recently I have worked for Asda Walmart in a number of People Development roles, including managing their Graduate programme and talent management for Head Office, Retail and Distribution before moving to Kellogg’s with European remit. I have a perspective now from the supplier, manufacturer and retail sides of business which is invaluable.

I have 3 gorgeous boys and married to a Scotsman Bryan. I work out of MediaCity Manchester UK 2 days a week and then the rest from home in Leeds, Yorkshire.”