Hoeksema drives O&L corporate relations
Looking back at her career at NBL she said that she considers the establishment of the Self-regulating Alcohol Industry Forum as a definite highlight during this period. “I challenged the norm whereby competitors were opposed to cooperation, and created a new reality of competitors in the alcohol industry working together to self-regulate and reduce alcohol-related harm. Other highlights include the establishment of the Recycle Namibia Forum, the commencement of the barley trials in Namibia, and numerous projects such as renovating the Oncology clinic, supporting various children’s homes as part of NBL’s commitment to supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Namibia.”
In her new position as head of the fairly recently established corporate relations function she now looks after the hub of excellence in the fields of communication, stakeholder relations and corporate social investment which services the entire O&L Group. “Leading the corporate relations function for the O&L group as of 1 March 2013 has been a challenging and exciting experience in so far as the complexity and scale resulting from the diversity of the group ranging from beverages and steelworks to retail, fishing, and the dairy industry to name but a few. However, the reward of working in a business that is committed to making our country a better place and where everybody is inspired by a purpose of Creating a Future, Enhancing Life – by far outweighs any challenges,” she adds.
On the question as to whether it is more difficult for women to make it to the top, Hoeksema feels that it has improved tremendously, and there are more and more businesses that appreciate women for the different dimension they bring to the management team, as well as the fact that often women are better all-round managers. “But I also find that women are extremely critical of other women, and that if women would be as tolerant and supportive of their female co-workers, and themselves, as they are of their male co-workers, the gender imbalance could be rectified with an increased speed.”
Her advice to young people who are aiming for the top of the corporate ladder: “Rather do more than less, don’t hesitate to take on extra work even if it isn’t your own, see every opportunity to do more as an opportunity to grow, and take joy and pride in doing your best, no matter what it is you do.”