The Executive Women’s Leadership programme was totally different from what I’d experienced before or expected.
It took place on a farm. We were totally isolated from the outside world. For me this was amazing because I am an agronomist. I was in my comfort zone. The setting allowed the space and time to be really present.
I got the chance to be together with senior female leaders in the company. It was an invitation to develop myself, learn about Eunice and her methodology and the wisdom of the body.
The thing that was the most important to me, that created this long-lasting experience was when Eunice asked ‘What is it that is really important to you? What really matters to you?’ These questions pointed us towards our purpose, but not just as an interesting idea but rather something that emerges from within, from our deeper selves. It becomes our commitment to who we are becoming as leaders
I remember thinking that of course I need to take care of my career, but the challenge was in the why. Why is this important to me? What was meaningful for me? I remember the commitment I made – I am a commitment to the best person I can be’ – and I find myself repeating it from time to time.
I took what I’d learned back into a programme in my organisation. My commitment stayed with me and it continues to guide my actions and interactions.
I ran a survey with 800 colleagues. Only 14% were women. I wondered what were the challenges that we have today that we are not able to attract women to work with us and if they were joining, why they weren’t staying.
As a result of my own learning, I developed a programme, Women in Agronomy as part of my organisation’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda. The program connects emerging female talents with more experienced female colleagues, with the goal of attracting, developing and retaining more women in agronomy.
It was an affinity group, a safe space which enabled us to all consider a way forward.
This linked back to the commitment I made because I would like to be the best version of myself. I was also very conscious that I was used to being the only woman in the room. I didn’t want this to be the reality in the future. I want this to change, I was in the position to influence and so I had to act.
My partnership with Eunice continued. On International Women’s Day, Eunice joined me and more than 40 colleagues across the world. Eunice guided us through the importance of centring, finding your ground on focusing on who you want to be and what is important to you. It’s not about pretending to be a man or another. It’s about being fully you.
Rejane Souza – VP Crop and Agronomy
VP Crop and Agronomy