This month’s Member Spotlight

Marja Dracmanis

May 2016

LEAD Charter member and member of Fundraising Committee
European Deployment Program Leader, Strategy Deployment Department, Mars Petcare Europe

A diverse workforce is key for business success
Often when we talk about diversity we only focus on ‘gender equality’. For me this has never been a big question as I was born in a country where women’s rights have been on the top of the agenda since more than a century: as an example my home country, Finland, was the 1st country in Europe to introduce women’s right to vote in 1906.

Still I truly believe that diversity is one of the key drivers of business success. When managed well, a diverse workforce – with good balance of male and female from different cultures with different values and backgrounds – is capable of taking into account a widest possible range of views and experiences and so can meet the changing needs of today’s business environment.

Today I lead a multicultural team of strategy deployment experts spread across Europe. Surely it is not always easy to get everyone on the same page and build a high performing team in a remote environment. But by strong collaboration, using technology and taking the best out of the experience of each, we have managed to significantly improve efficiency and drive business results and, in parallel, the team engagement has gone up.

Indeed I see working with people from diverse backgrounds, with a broad pallet of ideas and views, as a very rewarding experience.

LEAD Network inspiring and developing talent
Few years ago Mick Broekhof asked me whether I believe that an organization like LEAD could work in Europe. I immediately said ‘yes’ as I really believe that by learning from and supporting ach other we can create value and drive personal and business growth. And so I have had the great privilege to be part of the LEAD journey from the very beginning.

For me personally the LEAD Network has always has been a very helpful source of external inspiration. My absolute highlights have been the Networking events with great speakers and opportunity to meet other leaders from our industry. From these events I’ve brought plenty of ideas back to my work.

In the future, I believe, the LEAD Network should play an even stronger role in developing talent in retail and consumer goods companies. This can be done in many ways, for example: by providing opportunity to discuss and exchange experience in industry relevant topics, by being inspired and provoked by role model leaders or by joining the mentoring program that is just about to start.