Singapore hosts over 80% of the world’s agribusiness multinationals and visibly, not only in Singapore but worldwide, there is still a big gender gap (especially in managing/leading positions). Four years ago, together with other women from the industry, Tatiana Pochet, our colleague, was looking for an organization to add to our network, to learn from other men and women in our sector. However, there seemed to be no such agribusiness organization and therefore they decided to create their own. WOMAG was born.
WOMAG has turned from a small group of 10 volunteers into an official non-profit organization with a very strong following base of +100 members, +1000 followers on LinkedIn, and over 30 agribusiness/food companies who have supported our mission by either hosting or sponsoring our events and memberships, including Cargill, LDC, GAFTA, Olam, Hoogwegt and Meelunie. We promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity leadership to address the trends and challenges of the agribusiness industry in South East Asia. WOMAG’s mission is to accelerate the development of female leaders in the agribusiness industry in Southeast Asia by providing opportunities to enhance their knowledge, skills, and networks by organizing regular industry and skills development events. Our purpose is to showcase current female leaders and grow future ones by creating a platform where men and women can have a direct space to network and integrate on an equal plain field.’
As a committee member, Tatiana has been part of the event team. Each year, they organize several industry events, professional skills training sessions, and networking events, attended by professionals from over 150 different companies and organizations within the agribusiness sector. So far, WOMAG is one of the largest agribusiness organizations in South East Asia of its kind. Obviously, Tatiana is very proud of their achievements. “We still have lots of ambitions, so we’re not there yet. Our biggest motivation is witnessing the professional and personal growth of our members by having access to inclusive leadership opportunities and experiences.”
Being a relatively new organization, and mainly formed out of international professionals, the challenge is to keep the continuity of the organization and its mission. For this, we have been working with a strategy consulting company, to line up all our guidelines and strategy for the next 5 years and the future, which can also be used to open new chapters in other countries (for which we get many requests).
Even though COVID-19 is putting up challenges, Tatiana remains positive: “Our main activity and strength are our industry/networking on-site events. As everyone had to adapt, we did too. These past 8 months, we switched to 100% online. Starting by hosting small virtual “coffee breaks” every week since March, without a break. Every Wednesday from 9:30-10 am, we introduce an inspiring industry leader (CEO, manager, entrepreneurs, etc.) from the region to discuss a topic related to our industry, and so far, we managed to have at least 40 to 100 people joining every week from all SEA and even Australia. All events from this year can be found on our website or LinkedIn. ”