Rosaprima is an inclusive workplace that actively encourages diversity and gender equality. We are proud that our workforce is made up of more than 600 women, that is 40% of our total number of employees. Likewise, 40% of our executive team are women. One of those women is Magaly Cadena. She is our Chief Finance Officer (CFO), and has been at Rosaprima for over a decade. She is an inspiration to us all, and a fabulous role model of women in leadership positions. Today we turn the spotlight on her as we ask her a few questions:
First tell us about how you started at Rosaprima.
I came to Rosaprima after a a highly competitive recruitment process carried out by Deloitte. I remember I started quite young and I knew the level of responsibility was very high, so it was almost like a personal dare to get through the process, but I made it. After several interviews and filters, I started at Rosaprima as the Chief Accountant with the possibility of taking over the position of Chief Finance Officer. I took on the challenge. After a year of great effort and dedication, I achieved my goal and took over the Finance and Accounting areas. The rest is now history, of which I feel very proud of.
What has your trajectory with Rosaprima been like?
I identify with the innovation and competitiveness Rosaprima embodies. I am passionate about growing, competing, innovating, researching, studying. That all has allowed me to be in charge of several areas and contribute to many projects during these 12 years at the company. My trajectory began in the area of finance but with hard work and dedication, I now also spear the areas of Management and Human Resources. I currently lead a team of approximately 60 people.
As we are commemorate International Women’s Day, can you tell us what gender equality means to you?
That men as well as women have the same rights and obligations. Gender equality for me is to have equal opportunities to be what you want with equality in the allocation of resources, benefits and access to services.
How does Rosaprima promote gender equality?
At Rosaprima, employees are respected and valued according to the results they obtain in their work. We ensure wages are fair through measuring their skills and results on a scale for both men and women in an executive committee. Additionally, the selection process for new employees take into account the abilities and level of assertiveness the candidate with the required profile possesses and also depends on the labor market.
A clear example that shows that gender equality is promoted at Rosaprima is that the Executive Team is made up of 40% women and at a managerial level, 46% are women. This same tendency is true at the operational level.
As a role model to others, what advice would you give a young woman starting her career?
Regardless of whether it’s a man or a woman, I would say that all efforts are worthwhile, to always have dreams and maintain ambition and that hunger for life. I don’t believe in luck; you have to be ready to take opportunities when they arise. There are opportunities for everyone and it is up to us to be ready and mature to take them.
We have come a long way in the fight for gender equality, but there is still a long way to go. Are there any issues you feel are particularly important to address?
It can be extremely difficult for women to combine work and household responsibilities, as these often befall on them. This may be overwhelming and could result in neglecting one or the other. It is therefore crucial to provide the support needed. It is important to balance the obligations of men in the home, to recognize and remunerate the work of women in the home, to have mandatory and equal paternity leave, to provide access to day cares so that women can continue growing professionally and change the model and vision of the contribution of women to society. At home, educate children so they may reach their goals. It is everyone’s duty to level the playing field. If we manage to change the power structures I am sure we can change policies in favor of families and society.
Unfortunately, violence against women in all its different forms are still prevalent. We have seen cases at Rosaprima where women are physically and emotionally abused by their partners and what’s worse, in some instances, they believe that it’s normal. In Ecuador there have been laws created to protect women and try to eradicate violence and to strengthen equality, but there is still much to be done, which requires a large investment and change in the culture.
Can you remember a situation in which you felt truly empowered (or discriminated against) because of your gender?
Yes. Women are very good at doing many things at the same time. I multi-task and this has been very useful to be able to lead several things at a time. Often, my schedule is very tight and highly varied in issues, and this is how I am able to switch over from– for example a very important and dense negotiation to immediately go on with an accounting issue and then, or at the same time, even, resolve issues from human resources, etc. I am convinced that this strength has helped me distribute my energy into many tasks and projects in an efficient and effective manner.
Is there a woman you look up to as a role model?
I really admire Michelle Obama because she is a highly competitive, intelligent, tenacious and hardworking woman. She has a great story of education and progress. As a result of her incredible tenacity and hard work in developing herself, she became one of the most powerful and prestigious women in the world. She is an example of perseverance and courage. I love the great charisma she has, her smile at all times, the confidence and peacefulness she always projects.
Magaly Cadena is Rosaprima’s Chief Finance Officer and leads the Finance, Management, Human Resources, Accounting, Supply and Internal Control areas. Her hobbies include yoga, regularly walking with her husband and spending time with her sons. She enjoys the movies, reading and travelling.