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Caroline Waite on nurturing talent and promoting women in leadership

Frucor Suntory’s AU Sales Director, Caroline Waite is passionate about nurturing talent and encouraging women to succeed in business. Caroline was able to extend this support beyond the FMCG industry recently at the IRI Asia Pacific Women in Leadership panel. We sat down with Caroline to share her experience of the event, which aims to stimulate thinking and dialogue about the continued drive for gender equality.

“IRI has a well-established internal Global Women in Leadership programme and it was a real privilege to be asked to join this panel.

“And I have real feeling of accountability to engage in the conversation. Diversity is something we need to work at constantly. It isn’t enough to passively wait for change to come. So I feel a responsibility to participate and to try and make a connection to the audience on the topic.

“It was an interesting panel and one of the things I took away was validation that everyone’s experience is unique. There isn’t a ‘type’ to great leaders and I find that really motivating. Everyone can find their own way.

“We had a truly engaged audience from across the globe with over 200 questions asked! I personally loved the question about ‘personal risk of change’. Acknowledging that it can be tricky to be the one to take the first step forward was a really valuable conversation. All the panel members cited personal experience of this, but equally reinforced that to risk nothing, changes nothing.”

So what is Caroline’s key leadership lesson?

“Invite diversity! It’s so incredibly rewarding to work with people that challenge you, bring new perspectives and craft truly unique paths forward. As a leader you can make a difference if you take action!”