A conversation with our ‘Women in Commercial’
It’s not often that I get to host a panel discussion as spirited as the one I hosted earlier this month with 5 incredibly talented and courageous women from Syngenta APAC Commercial team: Lianasari Sutjokro from Indonesia, JiEun Choi from Korea, Emma McClelland from Australia, Hui Xiang Tey (Tracy) from Malaysia and Anita Binakar from India.
On average 43% of Asian farmers are females. This varies from South Asia, where about 35% of females work in farms, to East and South East Asia, where over 46% of farmers are females. However, the gender diversity in the commercial organization in the APAC Ag Industry is not even close to that number.
As we discussed how Syngenta can reach our goal of doubling the number of females in our commercial force over the next 2 years, and the initiatives to better support them, I was highly impressed by the confidence of the panel to do the right thing. What struck me the most was the conversation around how female sales colleagues support farmers and their families and build personal relationships beyond business. For example, Anita provides advice to farmers’ children on higher education and career prospects.
I understand work-life balance can be challenging at times as women are still primary care givers in many cultures. I believe that if we want to empower our female colleagues, we must take the necessary steps to create an inclusive, unbiased, enabling environment where they can achieve their potential.