CNH Industrial is a world-class equipment and services company that sustainably advances the noble work of agriculture and construction workers. With its globally respected brands, whose history goes back to 1842, CNH Industrial develops pioneering equipment and services for the agriculture and construction sectors.
Not only is CNH Industrial focused on their clients for continued excellence, but CNH also highly values the ladies within the company. With August focusing on women, empowerment of women, and the role women play in the agricultural industry, we had a wonderful opportunity to meet the dynamic team of women within CNH. They are an enthusiastic team of ladies, with a strong vision and passion for what they do!
Petri Husselmann, Regional Human Resource Manager for Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Pakistan and Turkmenistan at CNH Industrial
“Women have a natural ability to nurture, meaning that we nurture from farming to decision making as well as processes in the boardroom. Women also have the ability to nurture relationships — whether it is within the farming community or amongst our colleagues,” says Petri.
“I would say the role of women in agricultural development is also very broad. Women can concentrate on technological advancement, including bringing innovative and creative ideas to the table.
“In the past couple of years, one can truly see the investment that CNH Industrial has made into females in the company, whether it is agriculture or construction, by educating them and bringing them on board specifically for technological purposes.
“I also believe that the courage and perseverance that women bring to the table can have an impact on a business’s decision making,” Petri adds.
“The biggest challenges that women face in corporate environments, including agriculture and construction where we find ourselves, I would say is that women can sometimes be suppressed when it comes to sharing their ideas and solutions.
“My biggest inspiration would definitely be my mother. The perseverance, courage and the ability she taught me to stand up and be fair, was phenomenal,” says Petri.
“My message to women in general would be to have the courage to stand up and put your ideas on the table. Be creative and do not be afraid to share your ideas. To women in our industry, go on, persevere, get yourself educated and find yourself a seat at the table, wherever it needs to be – at the farmer, at the construction industry or amongst your colleagues.
“My vision for the future would absolutely be to live out our CNH Industrial cultures and believes. Working together as one team, to be the best and being number one in the industry,” Petri states.
If I can summarise being a woman in one word, I would say: Courageous.
Chimene de Villiers, Head of Marketing at CNH Industrial in Southern Africa
Chimene grew up on a farm outside Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, and she has always had a love and passion for the agricultural industry.
“I feel very privileged working in the agricultural industry. For me it is so inspiring being part of this industry, having a father who is also a farmer, seeing him grow his farm since a little girl inspired me so much, and I just want to make my dad proud,” Chimene explains.
“If I look at the role of women in agriculture today, I think women know that they do not have to stand on the sideline anymore. They know that they can make their mark within a male dominated industry.
“I believe it is always important to have different perspectives within any industry. We have a lot to learn from each other. I do not think women are equal to men, nor are men equal to women. All of us have a different view, vision, and perspective – all of us can contribute to each other’s successes and learn from one another. If you are a woman or a leader that people look up to, I believe that it is important to lead by example.
“In my mind, one of the biggest challenges that women face, is keeping everything together. I definitely look up to those women who keep a family and work life together. Another challenge that women face in the industry is that we are often underestimated, but with that comes a lot of power as well — making your mark and proving others wrong.
“In my work, I have so many amazing women leaders that I look up to, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for these inspirational women that crossed my path. With that being said, we also have amazing male leaders within CNH Industrial that empower women, and that women can also look up to,” Chimene concludes.
If I can summarise being a woman in one word, I would say: Fierce.
Nthabiseng Kgafela, Marketing Specialist for New Holland Agriculture Southern Africa
“Women have always been the backbone of families, and farming operations. As time progressed, we have seen more women making their mark, owning farms, women appointed in managerial positions and women making a more significant difference in decision-making,” states Nthabiseng.
“Yet that makes me so excited for the future, getting more exposure and experience, learning more about agriculture and being able to motivate other women, teach other women and just grow from there, it is upwards and onwards from here!
“If there is one message that I have for women out there, keep doing what you are doing, I know it gets challenging but just remember — you are here for a reason. Chase your purpose and remember that you are doing amazing things,” Nthabiseng concludes.”
If I can summarise being a woman in one word, I would say: Dynamic.
Chantel Boshoff, Head of Demand Planning and Fulfilment for CASE IH South Africa
Chantel says: “I am proud and inspired to be part of something that is globally changing for women. Women have always been part of the agricultural industry; they are now just more involved in the changes that are coming and being implemented.
“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world going forward.
“Women tend to face challenges of sustaining a work and life balance. I tend to experience challenges balancing work and life. Being a mother, I had to learn to share responsibilities, and have a dependable network both at home and in the office. I try to plan and prioritise what is important, to have time for my family and still be reliable in the business. My advice for other women would be to know when to say no, when it is not important, and make time for your family,” Chantel concludes.
If I can summarise being a woman in one word, I would say: Inspiring.
Leona Vermaak, Head of Network Development at CNH Industrial for Southern Africa
“I believe that women play an integral role in the development of agriculture. It is a thriving industry, and it is such an honour for me to be part of this industry. I believe in the importance of building bridges, especially in South Africa. With confidence I can say that women have a huge influence in building these bridges,” says Leona.
“Women are passionate and tenacious, they are often the glue in an organisation, bringing a healthy balance to the workplace. In our company we have seen women advance greatly, as CNH believes in equal opportunities. Women have been appointed in senior positions and I believe that sends out a positive message to the industry that there are opportunities for women. We really feel valued in the organisation.
“In the past you did not often see women pursuing careers in the agricultural industry, however times have changed. There is a saying that you must have your feet in the field, and I truly believe that respect is earned over time, through building relationships.
“In my career over the past years, I was very privileged to have mentors in the form of managers, including women — that way I’ve learned how to conduct yourself in a leadership position and sometimes how not to. I have also been really privileged with the male managers to whom I have reported, and what I have learned from them as well. They gave me the space to grow and supported me to help forming me to the person I am today.
“Women are very influential in society, and if we can influence young individuals to become involved in the sector and to believe in it again, we will be able to overcome problems such as poverty, unemployment, and changing perceptions about the industry.
“My message to women is to find your passion, live it, find out what your strong points are. Do what you do best every day and stay true to yourself. I think every woman should work hard and achieve her goals and her dreams not because you are a woman, but because you are able,” says Leona.
If I can summarise being a woman in one word, I would say: Resilient.
For more information on CNH Industrial and the services they provide, visit www.cnhindustrial.com/.