One company is celebrating women by taking their advice.
To mark International Women's Day, London-based Corrie MacColl gathered professional advice from women across different roles and global offices throughout the rubber company.
From the plantations to the top brass, the women behind the Corrie MacColl name gave their best advice for other women in the rubber industry.
Petrene Pearce, CEO of Corrie MacColl North America, tells women to know their worth and "ask for it."
Citing an experience from 10 years ago, when she was asked what type of raise she thought she deserved, she said she learned she had to advocate for herself and her contributions to the business.
"It felt wrong (and slightly greedy), and I was nervous to speak up," she said in a statement. "But I did it anyway, and it was a rewarding life lesson that has served me well."
Nanji Bih Akonwi, plantation manager, upkeep, in Cameroon, said, "There is always more to learn.
"Don't settle in your career or be intimidated by this, but embrace it," she said. "Find a way of upskilling that suits you best—whether this is through academic or online study, in the field or even by observing and learning from role models within the workplace."
Through the last 10 years, she added, she has learned across different plantation posts.
"This broad range of skillsets places me on a steady path to eventually realizing my ambition of working within the Head Plantation Department, in a role that hasn't yet been occupied by a woman at the Hevecam plantation.
Corine Hoedeman, who is the head of European logistics and quality manager in the Netherlands, tells women to speak up and make their accomplishments visible.
"It's easy to waste precious time building up confidence, whereas, in fact, there is never going to be a precisely perfect moment—so it is always better to take the chance and dive in before an opportunity passes," she said.
"Never think that your ideas and visions are not important or valuable, because they are."
In Turkey, Director Serenat Akkas tells other women in the industry to consider their customers' working contexts with empathy.
"We are working with producers and manufacturers along the supply chain with their own industry concerns—exchange rate, political or geological challenges," she said. "I try to think like them, and try to understand their responsibility and the load on their shoulders as if I am thinking about my own pocket.
"By understanding more and having empathy, you will be trusted with market insights, daily challenges and key decisions," she added.
Nina Ruehl, manager of Corrie MacColl's latex department in Germany, tells women to pay attention to the details in how they communicate, noting how even email style can affect one's success and the importance of keeping a good sense of humor along the way.
"The rubber industry is a very active and exciting business area where continuous communication is essential," she said.
Laboratory Manager Femke van Tatenhove, at the Kelvin Terminals in the Netherlands, reminds women to recognize the value of their unique skillsets.
"Remind yourself of the skills, years of study and experience that you bring to the workplace, and how it contributes to the wider company and industry," she said.
"The laboratory is an often-forgotten part of the supply chain, although its value is crucial. Without the laboratory, there could be no rubber industry," she continued. "Additionally, I remind myself of my position as a woman in science, and how I should always expect to be taken seriously in that world."
Finally, Claire Zhang, finance manager in China, tells women not to hide their personalities in the workplace, especially for "traits that are sometimes considered more 'feminine.'
"Within the standard bounds of professionalism, allow the full spectrum of your personality to be expressed: from tender to tough," she added. "When we can be ourselves, we do better in life and in our careers."
The annual international recognition has been observed since the early 1900s, according to the International Women's Day website. The first official celebration took place in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19.
The official celebration moved to March 8 in 1913 and was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.