Leaders of the Pack:
Empowering Pacific Women
What happens when you empow women?
It’s no secret that women are resilient and powerful visionaries. There is clear, growing evidence that having women in leadership roles creates resounding and positive ripples throughout families, communities, and nations. However, we could have told you that for free.
You see, at Packleader BPO, we’ve had a lot to be proud of over the years. We have agents who have been working closely with the same clients for close to a decade. We have an ever-growing family of dedicated staff members, and we’ve enjoyed seeing the businesses we’ve worked with grow into their full potential.
A lot of this was possible thanks to the fantastic people at the helm of our Fiji office- our power-packed management team: Unaisi Nadumu, Vasemaca Muri, and Neha Kumar.
Packleader BPO has been turning the tide regarding gender equality. We don’t just believe it; we’re solid proof that fantastic things happen when you empower women.
Bridging the Gap
In recent decades, and most notably in the Pacific, there have been calls for equal leadership rights, as well as a pressing emphasis on the need to bridge the salary gap between men and women. And while significant progress has been made in this area, there is still a fundamental shortage of women in leadership positions.
Packleader BPO works to bridge that gap as an equal opportunity employer. We spoke to our management team to gain insight into female leadership as an integral part of economic growth. Introducing:
“How do I think women affect the workforce? We are instinctively nurturing, and that can be an enormous benefit when understanding our staff’s individual needs. At Packleader, I’ve learned to teach and develop people while being mindful of backgrounds and circumstances. If you want to be a good leader, then take the time to coach people.”
Una attributes her strong work ethic to her humble beginnings and says there is beauty in being patient and tolerant, especially in a male-dominated field.
“It’s never easy, but you’ve got to keep on going. I started with Packleader in the finance department. I never dreamed I would become the Local Director or all the places it would take me. I’m infinitely grateful to Packleader BPO for that.” Una shares that her son, Jordan (3), is her biggest inspiration. “He keeps me grounded; that’s my balance.”
Call Center Manager
“We need our voices to be heard, and I mean that in every sense of the term. Women wear a lot of hats and faces. Females who lead are in the best position to identify and provide a safe space for employees to talk or simply offload. We shouldn’t be waiting for their performance to be affected and then retrospectively think of what could have been done.”
Vasemaca refers, in part, to concerning statistics: 72% of women in Fiji will experience one or more forms of domestic abuse in their lifetime- an issue that Packleader has been actively looking into and trying to help mitigate in any way possible.
“We often put women in boxes: wife, mother, domestic duties. But think of the mental and emotional benefits of having a safe and open place to work, and how that uplifts families.” Va says, “My role at Packleader BPO has not only afforded me with financial independence; I’ve also really built my confidence and communication skills. This has filtered into every other aspect of my life, and I find that I am better equipped to help others.”
Human Resources Manager
Neha, who started her career with Packleader as Human Resources Coordinator, shares that her decision to step up to her current role aligned with her personal goals.
“I want to live the changes I want to see and make impactful contributions. This job allows me to do that.”
Inspired by Jacinda Arden, Priyanka Chopra, and Tae Kami, Neha shares, “These women have taught me that there’s no gender or age factor and it’s possible to break barriers. It’s all in how you perceive things.”
Neha says she is also encouraged by Luke Wyley, Packleader’s General Manager. He advocates for women’s empowerment and stepping out of comfort zones. “Whenever I’m having a demotivating day, I can hear Luke’s voice in my head- ‘What else are you going to do? Are you going to let it get you down, or are you going to get up and move?’
Through her role, Neha has been able to assist the organization in adopting flexible working arrangements, particularly for those with childcare needs. “We work on a case by case basis, and we find that absenteeism and turnover rates are significantly lower.”
On Packleader BPO’s Respectful Workplace Policy, “we have noted the positive impacts of this policy, which was possible through workshops we’ve attended. In addition, our employees are predominantly women, so we do sort through a lot of socioeconomic issues.”
“We also have an understanding among the staff, team leaders, and managers that any possible domestic violence case needs to be raised confidentially. Then, if the women are comfortable, we assist them with getting help through the proper channels. We’ve taken people ourselves to the Women’s Crisis Center, and we’ve seen some amazing changes in women that have received support.”
“This is why women’s leadership is so important. Bring a woman a bit of support and watch her change the world.”