APA – Mao famously said that women hold up half the sky. With their ability to balance the many demands from home and work, the professional women of Ford APA hold up half the sky, and then some.
To show the company’s appreciation for all its female employees, Ford APA marked the 100th annual International Women's Day on March 8 with special events and celebrations.
Ford Motor Research & Engineering (Nanjing) held a leadership forum that featured a lecture on the "Secrets to a Successful Career."
"Throughout our lives, professional and personal milestones are equally important," Robinson noted.
Lodge-Jarrett talked about the values that lead to a rewarding career. "Be uniquely you! And be proud and transparent about that," she said. "Collaborate more effectively and be a good team player."
In Shanghai, Yuanyuan Gong, controller of MFG and MP&L, APA, delivered a speech about her 16-year career with the company. The title of her talk was "Share Experience, Grow Together."
The company’s joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, commemorated Women’s Day with a flower arrangement contest, while Changan Ford Mazda Engine gave away chocolate and flowers.
Ford India celebrated International Women's day with a shopping carnival, a cultural programme and activities to help local communities. Many female employees wore colourful saris to work. The plant cafeteria in Chennai was converted into a festive market with stalls selling women's and kids' garments, fancy jewellery, cosmetics and kitchen utilities. More than 200 women attended the celebration, and a group of female workers staged a song and dance show.
V Karthika, who heads the Ford India legal team, said that every day feels like Women’s Day at Ford. "Ford is one of the few organisations which has a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination against women. Ford values you for the work you are doing and gives you the authority to discharge your responsibilities irrespective of your gender."
Women employees from Ford Business Services Center in Chennai held a career training programme for 15 disadvantaged local young ladies. The trainees learned interview skills and tips for landing a better job to help them find a career and become economically independent. A separate group of women from Ford India visited a home for underprivileged elders and orphaned children to distribute snacks and study materials.
At Ford Australia, female workers at the Broadmeadows Plant were treated to a complimentary lunch of sandwiches, salads, sausages and cakes. More than 120 employees enjoyed the luncheon, which was organised with help from the Broadmeadows Women's Committee.
Cutting a cake to mark the occasion, Andrew Higginbotham, plant manager, and Doris Olulode, vice president of HR, reiterated Ford Australia's commitment to a professional and inclusive work environment – one that recognises and values diversity, fosters mutual respect and enables employees to achieve personal and company goals.
In Taiwan, Ford Lio Ho Motor Company (FLH) declared International Women's Day a holiday for all women employees. "FLH has one of the highest ratios of women employees in the industry and we also provide the industry's leading benefits and practices for all women workers," said Shelly Huang, FLH spokesperson. "The Operating Committee recognises the outstanding contribution of our female workers and would like to thank you for all your hard work and wish you a happy Women's Day!"
Kiersten Robinson, APA’s vice president of HR, and Julie Lodge-Jarrett, director of HR Business Operations, APA, shared their respective career journeys with women employees. Both stressed the importance of balancing professional and personal lives and maintaining good health.