By Shay Mustafa, SVP Modern Oral - RJRV
Transformation, by definition, is a metamorphosis, a dramatic change in form. When my colleagues and I first began discussing Women of Transformation, we knew that the initiative had to be based on authentic experiences – experiences that reflected both the times of triumph and adversity that shaped our careers. For us, transformation represents both the vision of our organization to significantly change an industry and our continuous growth as leaders who strive to make that vision a reality.
When I rejoined the RAI Group 5 years ago, it was because I saw an opportunity to make an impact by being a catalyst for change. In a tough industry, you need leaders who believe in a better future and are committed to delivering responsibly marketed products that meet adult tobacco consumers’ evolving preferences. Today, we offer products that provide a range of enjoyable options for a diverse range of experiences and occasions. I am fortunate to be part of a team with an intense focus on driving meaningful change and innovation. It is this spirit that inspired Women of Transformation.
The Women of Transformation initiative is about elevating the visibility of women’s contributions and creating paths for others, both women and men. At the heart of it, transformation is about growth. We want to foster more inclusivity so that everyone in our organization has the opportunity to grow a successful career that harnesses their passion for innovation and transformation. Women of Transformation is a platform that provides my colleagues and me the opportunity to share our experiences with professionals across our business and beyond. Having a forum dedicated to discussing common challenges and the strategies to overcome them is key to fostering the next generation of female leaders.
The reality is that game changing transformation requires us to go beyond our company. Thus, the Women of Transformation focus expands beyond our employee base. Driving positive change across society means creating a collective movement with partners, suppliers, retailers, regulators and adult tobacco consumers. When all voices are heard and respected, we are more reflective of society and able to build on a holistic view of the marketplace.
So, who are the Women of Transformation? That’s easy. We all are.