Here at PPG, gender diversity is particularly important to us. We are so pleased to see that the number of inspiring women in leadership positions has increased across the EMEA region. We would like to introduce you to three motivated women who are driving change in our workplace.
Isabella Ercole, Ebru Ustugen and Hasibe Isik have all recently been named Plant Managers, achieving a new level of visibility for women leaders on the operations side of the business
Isabella is the new Plant Manager at the Automotive Coatings EMEA Core Plant in Quattordio, Italy and Managing Director of PPG Industries Italy. Ebru and Hasibe are respectively Plant Managers at the Bursa site and Bursa Adhesives & Sealants site in Turkey.
It’s exciting to embrace a new challenging role; PPG is giving a clear signal on ‘walking the talk’ by nominating more women as plant managers. However, there are still cultural barriers and unconscious bias behavior, even though lots has changed in recent years.
Increasing Women’s Leadership Across EMEA
Our commitment to increasing gender diversity, along with the advocacy and support of the WLC, has driven a good but still improvable increase for women leaders in EMEA. Female leaders tend to be concentrated in marketing, legal, human resources, technology and customer service roles. Women working in production jobs are less likely than those in any other functional areas to be in a leadership position, regional data has shown.
That’s why Isabella, Ebru and Hasibe are excited by their opportunity to impact the development of women leaders in operations positions. In addition to serving as role models for other women, the Plant Managers say they will actively support diversity and inclusion in their facilities.
Diversity and inclusion plans for both genders will be a key driver of my strategy to get sustainable results at the Quattordio plant.
She joined the company 31 years ago, originally working in Formula Management and Inventory Control roles. In the last two years, she has been the Supply Chain Director for Automotive in EMEA and three months ago moved into her current role in Quattordio.
We have made a commitment to diversity as part of a long-term strategy, she notes, EMEA has strengthened the alignment between its Executive Leadership Team, Human Resources and WLC at both the Regional and Country level.
We are beginning to see results, but there is still a lot to do. In addition to what the company is putting in place, we as women, must continue to work on ourselves too. This bi-lateral approach will be the most effective way to reach our diversity and inclusion strategy.
Plant Managers from Turkey
Ebru and Hasibe share Isabella’s enthusiasm for promoting diversity.
Ebru started her PPG career in Total Solution Services and was named Bursa Plant Manager in December 2017.
It is especially challenging for women in production positions. I have strong relationships with young women and I support them by sharing my experiences.
Hasibe, who came to PPG as the Product & Quality Manager with the Revocoat acquistion, says changing unconscious bias can be “more challenging than doing the job itself”.
However, she adds that she has found PPG to be a supportive company for women in leadership roles and it’s getting better. “I have seen the increase in recent years,” says Hasibe, who was named Plant Manager in January.
The Women’s Leadership Council has had a big impact, and I am sure the number of women in leadership roles will continue to grow.