At Huhtamaki, we are committed to foster diversity and equal employment opportunity everywhere we operate. We believe that diverse teams are not only the right thing to do, but also bring real value through varying expertise and perspectives. Through our differences we support each other.
We are truly proud of some of the examples we have at Huhtamaki where we have been able to transform our ways of working and drive diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our sites and we would like to showcase an inspiring best practice from our site in Turkey. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, this example shows how we can encourage more women and girls to start their careers in technology-related professions through having female representation at the sites.
Recruiting women to the shopfloor at Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging, Turkey
Previously, our site in Istanbul, Turkey, did not have any female employees working in production roles although women were well represented in leadership positions. The local team decided to tackle this by implementing an initiative to increase the number of female employees in production roles from 0 to 100 by 2023, with the objective to create a gender-balanced workforce and promote awareness of diversity and inclusion practices across the Flexibles operation in Turkey. Different improvements were introduced to ensure women’s well-being at work such as breastfeeding rooms, E&I surveys and women’s empowerment workshops. Importantly, the roadmap included cultural trainings for employees to build awareness of female leadership and engage all employees to transform our culture together. The cultural change was not a fast one: “It was a long journey which was begun from getting across the message that men and women are equal. We trained every employee and their family about gender equality to change the society around us, not just for empowerment”, says Fulya Kara, Training, Development & Internal Communications Manager.
42 female workers had been recruited by the end of 2022, making the site well aligned with reaching their 2023 goal. Feedback from our employees has been positive. “Some employees came to me and told me it’s so inspiring to see women in various tasks. They told me they want their daughters to have the same opportunities in the future”, says Betül Türel Erbay, Head of Sustainable Packaging Development, Flexible Packaging.