Having honoured women working in the packaging industry last month on International Women’s Day, Winfried Muehling, Pro Carton’s Marketing and Communication Director, reflects on his own experience:

“Women bring a unique set of skills, perspectives, and experiences that are invaluable to any organisation.

First and foremost, having a diverse workforce that includes women proves to lead to better decision-making. When women are involved in decision-making processes, there is a wider range of perspectives and ideas in the room. This drives more innovative solutions and better outcomes for an organisation. Women often bring a different approach to problem-solving. Women are more likely to take a collaborative approach to problem-solving, which can lead to better outcomes for your team and organisation.

Having women in leadership positions is crucial for setting an example and inspiring the next generation of female leaders. Let me share a case of my own experience:

Twenty years ago I was managing the commercial organisation of a global packaging company in Taiwan. When I arrived the sales organisation consisted of middle-aged male colleagues, the marketing organisation were young women. Exclusively!  The teams did not collaborate unless it happened that they accidentally met in the lobby of a customer site on the exact same day.

Against all odds and advice I appointed a lady colleague – Irene – to be the first female key account manager in the organisation. I was warned this would not be accepted in a male-dominated environment and it would put the business with one of our biggest customers at risk. After 12 months, Irene managed to build a rock solid relationship with the customer, and the results of the key account teams outperformed any of the other teams. The pipeline of new product launches was always full, it was truly the best example of planned and scheduled growth. At the same time as employing Irene, we employed a male colleague for the marketing team. I sometimes envied him, being surrounded by only female colleagues. This recruitment strategy also proved to be the best value for the two organisations to naturally melt together.

Irene finally moved across the Strait to China and worked her way up to become a regional director in the biggest market of the company. Hindsight in managing commercial organisations for most of my career this was the best decision we could have ever taken. This appointment changed the atmosphere in the sales and marketing team in Taiwan and Irene proved that she could also perform her job in the biggest market company in China.

In conclusion, the importance of women in the workplace should not even be discussed. By embracing diversity and promoting gender equality, organisations will create a more innovative, collaborative, and successful workplace culture.”

Winfried Muehling, Pro Carton’s Marketing and Communication Director