• Clima; Gestão Empresarial

Leading Gender Equality for Generations to Come

08.03.2020

By Duda Kertesz, Alumni FGV EAESP, President, U.S. Skin Health at Johnson & Johnson

Being a woman today is powerful and inspirational. There’s never been more opportunity, conversation nor progress towards our ultimate goal of equality for humanity. This is not to say we still don’t have a long way to go. Between the expectations that we’ve put on ourselves, the difficult balance between our professional and personal lives or the unconscious bias we face due to our gender - being a woman in 2020 is not an easy feat. Today, on International Women’s Day, I am “Generation Equality” and believe that this should be the norm every day moving forward. 

As a mom to a teenage daughter and son, it’s my first responsibility to lead by example and to ensure that they both not only live in a better world, but also help to create one. We need to instill these values in our younger generations so that we can eliminate the gender equality bias for the future. This means being the champion for not only my daughter, but for all women around the world. 

 I have been supported by many wonderful people throughout my entire life - both personally and professionally. My mom was a successful working mother and watching her balance between work and raising four kids made me realize that it really is possible. My mom has embraced her imperfections and didn’t seem to feel that all-encompassing guilt – the feeling that you are neither spending enough time with your family nor fully committed at work. And that’s a difficult thing for many of us to do (and I confess, I am still exercising how to do it every day). I was also very lucky to be raised by a mother and father with very little gender distinction – they made all of their kids believe, right from the beginning, that anything was possible. Looking back, the “gift” that I’ve been given in a way, is self-confidence – believing that with hard work, dedication (and some luck) – I could do anything.

 I’ve been also fortunate enough to have spent the majority of my career at Johnson & Johnson, an organization that empowers women of all levels to follow their passions and apply for leadership opportunities. Early in my career here, I had managers and mentors that were very supportive of my future within the company, with one manager specifically that paved the way for women like me to grow – as moms and leaders within Johnson & Johnson. I do acknowledge my fortunate situation though – throughout my life, I‘ve met women who were not as lucky; who faced more difficult circumstances in terms of opportunities, pay, flexibility or maternity leave policies. It’s 2020 and unfortunately, we still face so many of these challenges today. 

 Diversity and inclusion, and women’s leadership have always been areas of true passion for me as they align with my core personal values of advocating for equality. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to meet incredible women, from different fields, industries and outside of the corporate environment all together. I was able to exchange stories with and form a sisterhood where we could inspire each other. I continue to learn from and be impressed by each one of them as they have all played an integral part of my success, both personally and professionally.

Although these are just a few things I’ve learned throughout my life, I think these are valuable lessons that may be helpful to others. I firmly believe that we all have a role to play – to create a better world where our daughters, sisters, nieces and granddaughters will support one another and where everyone will just be treated equal.  #EachforEqual #IWD2020International #GVnianasQueInspiram

Article published by Duda on her LinkedIn