The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women's networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.
It's a day to promote inspiration and change.
At Howden, we are sharing some of the experiences of a variety of women that work at Howden in the hope that they both inspire and challenge you to make the most of the opportunities available to you, personally and professionally, irrespective of your gender – and not just on one day a year.
You have been successful in your career. Did you always have a plan?
I didn't always have a plan....at school I was equally passionate about Mathematics as I was about Art & Design and debated which to pursue as a career. However, during a summer job in an office I worked in Finance and my love for accountancy kicked in. After a number of finance roles, I quickly realised that I wanted to work across the business rather than in one function only. In conjunction with my CFO, CEO and HR Director we created a plan for me to work towards a General Manager role, agreeing the building blocks of skills, experience and behaviours that were required and the right roles and projects to fit this. At the same time, I completed my MBA at Strathclyde University and trained as a Lean Sigma Black Belt at Ohio State University. I have also had the privilege to work with some inspirational leaders and coaches during my career.
What advice would you give to the 18 year old you?
All people have their reasons of behaving in a different way that you do. Do not get disappointed about them, try to understand such reasons and empathize with them. There is not only one way of doing whatever you want to do. And do not pressure too much yourself, just need the sufficient pressure to be the person you want to become.
Vijay Laxmi Saxena
What does success look like for you?
When you wish to live the same life one more time. When you can't wait to wake up next morning so that you can get back to your work which is your passion. When you have a happy family or your closest ones around you to celebrate your success. That's success!
Tell me a bit about your current role?
Currently I am head of the export control & customs department (Trade Compliance) at Howden Turbo Frankenthal. My team of 8 people is responsible for compliance with all applicable export control and customs regulations and, in addition, for the shipping coordination to our customers worldwide.
I have a very large family and certain responsibilities towards my colleagues. Work life balance? Work hard and learn how to delegate. Let others make mistakes and don't be afraid of it. Know that you are not irreplaceable. That gives you mental balance.
Be clear on what makes you the best version of you and make decisions that allow the best you to turn up. Don't be apologetic if this is different to the stereotype of an industry or role, but instead speak with conviction on why you are the best 'person' for the role.
Trust yourself, never give up and do not let anyone put limits about what you dream of.
Be very clear about your career objectives and don't be disappointed if you don't have a world to back you. Stay strong and move ahead. Set your own Dos and Don'ts.
Believe in your abilities, always be yourself and never give up!
Honestly, I don't really feel like I need to defend the equality because, luckily, we are not the same. We are more complex, we are stronger, we are fighters, we can give life and we can see and feel more. Isn't it amazing? I don't have any need for comparing myself with any man because I am really happy and satisfied with the woman I decided to be.
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