In celebration of International Women’s Day, M. Holland joins the rest of the world to honor the critical role that women play in leading social, economic, cultural and political progress around the world. This year’s theme, Each for Equal, puts a spotlight on how everyone can contribute to greater gender parity, not only through individual actions, but also through our collective efforts. At M. Holland, we value diversity, and continue to work toward a culture that encourages and empowers women to pursue their professional interests and goals.
This year, we’re highlighting four women at M. Holland who discussed their careers in the plastics industry and what “each for equal” means to them.
With eight years at M. Holland and almost 30 years of experience in the plastics industry, Monica has been at the front lines of incredible change. Since the beginning of her career, she has found the business to be welcoming to women, and she advances that tradition by helping others succeed every day. As the industry and the company continue to transform, she appreciates the endless opportunities to learn and finds joy in helping others gain the skills and abilities they need to grow.
Her advice to women who are just starting their careers? Be proactive, make yourself visible and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak up and reach out for help when you need it. Ask for a road map!
Originally from Colombia, Xiomara has lived in the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil and now Mexico City. Her experiences in this array of countries have cultivated a wider perspective on successfully working with people from different cultures and backgrounds, a vital skill in an increasingly connected world. She started in the plastics industry as one of the first female sellers at a multi-national petrochemical company. She has since learned the value and importance of relationships and mentorships to navigate the complexities of different offices and cultures.
Xiomara’s advice for women who want to advance their careers? Bring passion and positive energy to work every day. That kind of attitude is contagious!
Lena grew up in East Germany and as a young woman came to the United States, which she describes as “like going to the moon.” Her first job was an administrative assistant role at M. Holland, and as she has ascended through the ranks, she’s watched the company grow from a small family business to an international enterprise. She credits her mother and former mother-in-law for giving her the confidence to pursue her dreams and various mentors at M. Holland for being integral to her impressive career trajectory.
Her advice to her younger self? Don’t get frustrated with changes. Just continue to learn and know that that the hard work pays off.
Brianne’s interest in diversity dates back to her youth when her dream was to become a dentist catering to a Spanish-speaking clientele. While her professional path took her in a very different direction, she still appreciates how gender and cultural diversity can foster new ideas that she can apply to her role and across the business. Brianne is a member of M. Holland’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, which strives to make M. Holland a more welcoming, inclusive and equal employer and business partner.
Brianne’s advice to other women in the industry? Hard work works! Be so on top of your game that you become a resource that people depend on.
At M. Holland, we take inclusion personally and believe that an equal world is an enabled world. Working toward diversity will only enrich our experiences, knowledge and leadership. These efforts are key to helping our business partners thrive and continuing to grow as an organization.