Dr. Jamila Bouanda, Category Head Fresh Dairy
DMK supplies various markets internationally. Also the French market. Our colleague Dr. Jamila Bouanda, who as Category Head Fresh Dairy is in charge of the butter and FD portfolio, is responsible for this market. We talk to her about her tasks and her challenges as a female manager.

Hello. What's your name and what do you work as?

My name is  Dr. Jamila Bouanda and I am Fresh Dairy Category Head in BU Industry, Bremen.

What are your daily tasks?

I lead the FD team and am responsible for better pricing and profit. I am also responsible for the development and quality of the services. My focus is on the French market by optimising the butter and FD portfolio. I work closely with marketing to develop new products to meet the unmet needs of the market.

What are the challenges here – especially as a female FC?

The main challenges are 

  • The equality of the worklife balance. We want to have the best of both. We want to be the successful mum and we want to pursue our carrierer inspirations
  • Once you step out, our peers will be ahead of you, your skills will be  outdate, this is demographic timeframe
  • We are afraid to push too much and get it ourselves
  • In addition, there is lack of roles models and network, we are learning as we go
  • being underestimated or held different standards than male leaders.
  • Men are overconfident and generally women are the opposite

How easy or difficult was it for you to get to this position? Were you supported professionally; did you invest a lot of your own initiative?

I was an external applicant.

What "other" skills do women bring to leadership positions as opposed to men?

Women have usual a “collaborative” leadership  and not having  an ego . Women bring people together and they communicate, which increases the effectiveness of the team. Their focus is on profitability and not just volume.

Why is it so important for DMK to ensure gender balance at all levels in the company?

Today, the current organization schema is not aligned with your question…

Women are still in the minority in MINT professions. How can DMK – and in general – succeed in encouraging women to work in these areas?

We need to set up more trainings/seminars to educate them with internal resources. Using several female ambassadors as mentors in STEM schools and encouraging them to participate in DMK are also important. And, of course, we need to hire women, promote them, and give them a salary increase.

Do you ever come up against authority limits with customers/employees/supervisors because you are a woman? Where do you still notice the differences?

I never meet this situation.

What needs to change? What is going well? How did you experience equality at work ten or 20 years ago?

What needs to change? What is going well? How did you experience equality at work ten or 20 years ago?

We are still underrepresented as leader in the current society. We need to continue to push internal barriers , to speak and to challenge as women in leader position. Propose internally Leadership course for only womenThe next step is our top management needs to reflect the equality between women and man. Believe in myself , I have to follow my instinct and make my journey less stressful.