In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Inspire is celebrating the stories and impact of our international team members as we reflect on the significant roles women have played in shaping history and accelerating women’s equality around the world.
Today, we spoke with Ozlem Ayman and Anna Maria Müller, two members of the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins International team. Ayman, a Senior Manager of New Business Development covering all International markets, and Müller, a Field Marketing Manager covering the Europe region, are both members of the brands’ international chapter of the Women’s Integrated Network Employee Resource Group (wINternational). This group is dedicated to building community and engagement around empowering and accelerating the development of women leaders by providing avenues to connect with one another, regardless of geographic location.
Why is being a member of the wINternational ERG important to you?
Ayman: As a leader, and a woman, I feel responsible to contribute to the mission and agenda of our ERG. One of the objectives is to create a community where women support each other. We are stronger together and women in particular benefit from collaborating rather than competing with each other. At wINternational, we strive to build a platform where we nurture, empower and inspire each other.
Müller: Fostering a diverse leadership culture is so crucial to make us individually and collectively better. With wINternational, we’re tackling this and want to empower and accelerate the development of women leaders in our brands.
What are your goals as a member of wINternational?
Ayman: To connect, engage and empower one another as a community. Last year, we focused on several topics like daring leadership, winning words of wisdom and the benefits of gender equality. With each interaction, we saw higher participation and stronger engagement from our network. We are continuing to drive this agenda in 2021.
Müller: Making equality self-evident and not a topic. For me, this ERG is about building self-confidence and motivating women to clearly articulate their personal goals, which I feel is a crucial step toward success.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Ayman: It’s a paradox. On one hand, it is a noble day to take a moment in life to celebrate the contributions of women in society. On the other hand, we are far from a polished state of gender equality. This day is increasingly about creating awareness about the impact equal participation of women can create in our lives, organizations and the world. According to World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, we will reach the gender parity at its current rate of change by 2120. It is the responsibility of each one of us to accelerate the change to help create a more inclusive and equitable society. Every little touch is a step forward.
Müller: It’s an important day to build awareness on a broader level and keep continuously talking about gender equality. Even in 2021 there’s still a long journey ahead toward gender equality and this day is a good reminder for everyone around the world.
How are you celebrating women’s achievements?
Ayman: I recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women in my network by dropping them a personal note. Moreover, I find that supporting women-owned businesses is critical in enabling the economic liberation of women, thereby helping them sustain their initiative. This in turn brings more women employed and empowered, stronger role models and a flourishing economy.
Müller: I celebrate all achievements loud, regardless of gender. For women, I encourage them even more to be self-confident in their skills and achievements and talk about those with others.
Is there a particular woman in history that has influenced you in either your personal life or career?
Ayman: There are various women that come to mind – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Simone de Beauvoir and some leaders I have collaborated with in my personal and professional life. Through her works, Simone de Beauvoir depicts the struggle women face in liberating themselves politically, biologically, and economically from the “inferior” and “other” status. Today, we observe the belief that a woman should act like a man and dress up like a man to gain authority. Simone de Beauvoir firmly establishes that women and men are biologically different yet should be equal. Women have the responsibility to stand up and liberate themselves through enlightenment.
Müller: It’s not one specific woman for me. It’s more taking the important bits and pieces from all of these great women I’m surrounded by in my personal and professional life.
A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. How can you help forge a gender equal world?
Ayman: As Amanda Gorman highlights, “quiet is not always peace.” I am committed to being a voice for women and fostering an environment where women can support and encourage each other to grow at our brands. Outside of work, I volunteer at a nonprofit technology organization where I mentor students and fresh professionals. I truly hope that every little touch will create a snowball effect and we can attain gender equality way before 2120!
Müller: For me, it’s about the little things daily. From the daily conversations we have to the daily actions we take, personal or professional, we must reinforce the importance of the topic and be a role model.
To learn more about the wINternational ERG or to join the group, contact Nicole Farrell. To learn more about career opportunities at Inspire, visit careers.inspirebrands.com.