We were delighted to invite Alejandra Garcia, the VP Global Procurement at DSM in Switzerland, to the EMEA Recruitment podcast.
“We don’t have to be male to be good leaders; value your talents, value your skills, value your experience.”
Alejandra reflected on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our lives with Paul Toms, our Founder. She not only spent a lot of time at home with her twin daughters, but Alejandra also realised how powerful it is to have good relationships with colleagues and suppliers. When supply chains and sourcing capabilities were turned upside down by the pandemic, it was these networks that helped her navigate through.
Through having strong relationships with stakeholders, Alejandra has found that she’s able to prioritise the consumer. While Procurement is typically far from the customer and generally tries to optimise everything, Alejandra now believes that focussing on diversification and empowerment will create trust and safety networks. In fact, she calls the ability to connect both internally and externally as one of Procurement’s “superpowers”.
Alejandra is a trained chemical engineer, due to her curiosity in understanding how things work. Combined with her desire to care for and help people, she found her way into Procurement. Now, as the leader of a large, global team, she’s able to bring these components together.
Alejandra tells the story of her time working with a well-known chocolate cookie brand in Mexico. Seeing the struggles that customers were having with the packaging of the product, she wanted to make a difference. This influenced her decision to move into regional and global roles; Alejandra can expose herself to different perspectives.
Following her move to Switzerland a few years ago, Alejandra has some strong advice for the younger generation on taking risks. She developed her passion for curiosity through encouragement from her mother. An influential music teacher also gave her a lesson in leadership and the most powerful message of her life.
Paul delves into the reasons that Alejandra went into engineering, which is generally a male-dominated field. Her background has been helpful in the Procurement discipline, so, although she is usually the only woman in the conversation, she believes that she has a responsibility to make sure she’s not the only woman in the future. It’s the reason that she’s so passionate about Diversity & Inclusion.
We explore the difference in mindset between men and women, and the skills and abilities that females can bring to the engineering and chemical fields. According to Alejandra, it’s the right moment for women to join the sector. She feels that networks like the EMEA Recruitment podcast are doing a great job of providing role models to others.
The full episode can be found below:
If you’d like to find a particular part of the episode, you can use the timestamps below:
01:10: How relationships have helped Alejandra through COVID-19
04:35: Why Procurement must diversify & empower teams
08:03: Why Alejandra chose Procurement
13:31: How a mother in Mexico City influenced Alejandra’s career
17:26: Advice for the younger generation
19:10: The 2 people who influenced Alejandra’s career
22:01: Why diversity is invaluable in Procurement
24:22: What women can bring to the industry
30:12: Advice for women applying for jobs
32:40: Talking about when we’ve failed
36:43: How to reach out to Alejandra
If you’d like to connect with Alejandra, please visit her LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alxgsaucedo/
We are proud to bring you the EMEA Recruitment podcast in partnership with international medical charity Operation Smile. We’re trying to raise enough money to create 100 new smiles – you can help us change a child’s life by donating at this link: https://www.emearecruitment.com/pages/operation-smile
To find out more about our services, including Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment, please visit our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/
You can also find us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/
If you’d like to connect with Paul, visit his profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/
You can also follow Paul on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms
If you have any topics that you’d like us to cover in future episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please contact Rose: firstname.lastname@example.org