BY FRANKIY KAPIN
Papua New Guinea owned Paradise Foods Company believes women are just as equal as men decision makers and currently half the company’s executive team is made up of female employees.
Paradise Foods Company with an 80 percent majority Papua New Guinea shareholding through the Nambawan Super Limited and 20 percent through Comrade Trustee Services has 50 percent of its females on the company’s Executive Leadership team.
And that includes the Chief Financial Officer, Group Manager – People and Performance, Group Manager – Supply Chain, Group Manager – Chocolate (Queen Emma) & Spice. Other Senior Leadership roles include Finance Manager – Reporting and Analysis, Finance Manager – Operations, Trade Marketing Manager, Human Resource Manager and the Quality Assurance Manager.
“With 50 percent of the Executive Leadership team being women in Paradise Foods, they engage as equal partners in the leadership team and contribute to developing and implementing the strategic objectives of the business in their specific areas of expertise leading to the success of the company. “says Michael Shields, CEO.
They are kicking goals for the business!” the Company stated.
And complementing gender equality in the workplace, Paradise Foods Company is as well penetrating the traditionally perceived men jobs.
Currently the men dominated positions held by women at Paradise Foods include Plant Manager, Supply Chain Manager, Production Engineer, Electricians, Production Supervisors, Packaging Supervisors, Process Workers and Machine Operators.
“Paradise is an equal opportunity employer so regardless of gender or any other area of potential difference, and in line with legal compliances, we strive to employ and promote the right person for the right job based on ability, potential and performance.” Jane Wickham, GM People and Performance.
Company reward systems at various levels are the same for males and females in same positions.
We have been extremely fortunate in recent times to be seen as an employer of choice and have been able to attract a number of female talents to fill key roles,” Paradise Company stated.
“We are aware of the cultural challenges that women face in PNG in terms of education and other stereotype attitudes and behaviors of our society that disadvantage women not only to be gainfully employed but to succeed in the workplace and be promoted to management and executive level jobs.
Paradise Foods sponsors activities like the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG who are a non-profit organization.
Through the support of businesses like Paradise Foods, MPIP can not only assist to provide scholarships to young women but time and again we witness a shy, insecure and self conscious young individual transformed into a radiant, mature, intelligent young woman full of confidence and ready to take on the world,” the Company added.
With the remarkable distinction of 50 percent females in the company dominating the Executive Leadership team comes a key understanding that the world is changing and women are just as equal as men and in PNG this reality is slowly but surely making inroads.
A lot of social setbacks in PNG are associated to men viewing women as second class.
The approach undertaken by Paradise Foods champions a classic mindset change for PNG and indirectly contributes to minimizing violence to women.
Given the experience in Paradise Foods, the company believes that of course the overwhelming participation and decision making by women mean women are just as equal as men.
“Definitely and for women who are the customary home makers – it’s a natural fit for them when it comes to the workplace.
We forget that for women, running a successful home is pretty much like running a business.
You are always planning, making decisions, managing the home budget and doing innovative things to improve the family finances, ensuring the children go to school and also trained in-house and ensuring the home is a safe and secure place to live in – well that incorporates similar expectations of a successful business,” Paradise Foods company states.
Paradise Foods Limited agrees that there continues to be challenges in PNG for women to forge their status in all areas and become equal participators to men especially for a country like PNG that is culturally sensitive to the status women.
Jane Wickham added that domestic violence continues to be a real threat in disrupting women folk from having successful careers in this country. Paradise indicated that the lack of women representation in the PNG parliament is a clear indication of the lack of community and national support to entrust women into high status roles of power and influence. “However, at the same time we believe education is key and there is a new generation of Papua New Guineans – both male and female that are more broad minded, many are educated or lived overseas and are well travelled and exposed to a new thinking where they appreciate and support the realization that women can equally participate and be successful in the workplace and in nation building,” Paradise Foods stated.