Mars Supports International Women’s Day 2018 | Mars, Incorporated
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International Women's Day 2018


We Proudly #PressForProgress.

International Women’s Day calls for accelerating gender parity. Mars is all in.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report uncovered a harsh truth: gender parity is more than 200 years away. 217 to be exact.

Inaction isn’t an option.

International Women’s Day 2018 (March 8) spotlights the vital importance of celebrating women’s achievements, cultivating gender-inclusive mindsets and pressing for meaningful change. At Mars, we’re strongly invested in increasing the number of women in both leadership and functional roles. And we’re deeply committed to making sure our female Associates have ample opportunity to grow, develop and be successful here.

To support #IWD2018, some of our female leaders are sharing ways we #PressForProgress together:

Fiona Dawson, our Global President of Food, Drinks and Multisales, has a passion for parity. “Mars partnered with the UK Women’s Business Council last year to create ‘The Pipeline Effect’ to help enable gender parity beyond middle management. In it, we identify obstacles to women’s progress mid-career, of which a lack of role models was one,” she says. “Gender is the Trojan horse of diversity…If we can make much-needed progress in gender diversity, eventually we can pave the way for future successes across all other diversity barriers and make our workplaces more inclusive.”

Allyson Park, our Global Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, says finding personal balance and professional success is unique to every woman. “Women are often people pleasers; we have a tendency to let ourselves become someone else’s priority. So it’s important to be clear on what you want, and find a company that aligns with and supports your personal values. For me, Mars is that company. We’re focused on doing today what matters tomorrow, which means I have the opportunity to help shape something of lasting impact.”

Michelle Thomas, our Global Diversity and Inclusion Director, encourages women to embrace professional risk. “Millennials are expected to change jobs 15 times in their working lifetime. HR professionals acknowledge the challenges this poses in terms of talent retention and development – after all, investment in employees needs to deliver a return. Yet, if employees re-invent themselves in the pursuit of new careers, the talent pool becomes more enriched, which is better for business in the long term.”

Alison Clark, our Global Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Mars Food, calls for more sponsorship of females in the workplace. “Sponsorships are different than mentorships. Sponsorships happen organically when someone higher up becomes your champion, an ally who opens doors, makes introductions, keeps you in the know and advocates for you behind closed doors with other powerbrokers,” she says. “But…men, who hold the majority of upper level positions, gravitate towards sponsoring other men who remind them a little of a younger version of themselves. That’s why I’m calling on both men and women to make it a point to sponsor females.”

Marika McCauley Sine, our Vice President of Global Human Rights, Sustainability, believes that no matter the woman or her place on this planet, each should have the chance at success. “Women around the world – whether cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, garment factory workers in Phnom Penh, or corporate executives in New York – deserve the opportunity to thrive,” she says. “To me, thriving means being fairly rewarded for your efforts, not facing discrimination or limitations, and having equal access to opportunities to learn, progress, and advance.”

Angela Mangiapane, President of Mars Global Services, looks no further than her own family for female role models. “My mother gave me confidence I could do anything. Life for her (an Italian immigrant with little money or English) wasn’t easy, but she made sure my sister and I had choices she wasn’t able to. She believed life was meant to be lived making a difference…and was a true pioneer, pressing for change. When I look at my daughter and her friends, I see so much progress. These are confident young women who absolutely know they can make a difference, speak their mind, and have their voices heard.”

Helen Mills, VP of Corporate Affairs for Petcare, says we should all be uncomfortable with a girl or women’s assertiveness and confidence being labelled as ‘bossy’ or ‘pushy.’ “As a mum to a 14-year-old daughter, I don’t want stereotypes or labels to make her change who she is or who she might become. I’m hopeful we can create a world that values and encourages talent, irrespective of gender. But, that begins with an awareness of the challenges, including the impact that labels can have on girls and on women in the workplace.”

It’s time for urgent action. Mars stands proudly with women and men around the world who #PressForProgress this #IWD2018 and beyond.