Womens Day 2019

Womens Day 2019 - WFTO Event

08 March 2019

There are so many reasons to celebrate gender equality on Women’s Day, 8 March 2018!  One good reason is that more and more women in Fair Trade are taking leadership roles in their organisations. A recent study of 110 WFTO members revealed that 51% of board positions are held by women, 52% of CEOs are women and 54% of top management roles are held by women.  Visit our Women's Day page for stories and videos of women in Fair Trade who are leading the way to gender equality. 

Carmaline Raj

Our purchase manager, has been working with Asha Handicrafts Association for nearly 43 years, something that she is proud of. Carmaline has been influential in contributing to Asha’s success and unique work culture. Carmaline firmly believes that the core of Asha’s culture is taking ownership of the task assigned. Carmaline has grown in Asha from a young fresh mind to a seasoned manager of the purchase department. She has overcome challenges she has faced by asking the right questions and going in depth to understand & overcome the problem. For Carmaline, success is understanding what her buyers want and doing her best to give it to them.

Carmaline is a working mother and also makes time for her family. The key, she says, is making time for both work & home while focusing on what’s in front of you. Carmaline’s advice to young women is to do what you love & do it well. Be focused and take ownership of your work. But most importantly, make a commitment to God, to do your job with all your heart. 

Carmaline prays that Asha’s mission & good work continues to succeed and dreams of a day when all artisans will have access to Fair Trade.

Mariamma Mathew

Lovingly known as Usha to our staff, is responsible for managing all the documentation required to ship our artisan’s handicrafts to our buyers. Usha has given 35 years in service of Asha’s mission and is proud to have positively impacted so many artisans. Usha attributes her long tenure to Asha’s unique “family” work culture. According to Usha, the practice of entrusting staff to do their job independently and without unnecessary pressure is what makes Asha a great place to work. As the manager of export documentation logistics & freight, Usha deals with a lot of government officials to get the required authorizations for Asha Handicrafts Association’s shipments. Her solution to get these authorizations on time is persistent, yet polite, follow ups with concerned people. She is overjoyed every time she can get Asha exporters’ incentives from the Indian government.

Usha loves to stay up to date on current affairs and enjoys watching news and debates on TV. Her day is not complete till she reads the daily newspaper. Her work with Asha has enabled her to lead a good life and is the reason why she could have her own home. Her “secret to success” for young women is to work honestly with a calm mind.

Usha has seen most of her dreams come true at Asha and hopes Asha continues to help more & more artisans achieve their dreams. After 35 years of faithful service, Usha now looks forward to a quite relaxing retirement.

Patricia Lewis

Asha Handicrafts Associations’ Finance Manager. Patricia has been working with Asha for over 16 years and has experienced & achieved a lot during her tenure. According to Patricia, her long tenure is simply because she loves coming to work. The positive and welcoming atmosphere at Asha makes it the best place to work for her. Patricia recalls how happy & empowered she felt when she was given the responsibility of the Finance department. It was an opportunity to prove herself that she would not let pass.

Being the forward thinking woman she is today Patricia always has her eye on Asha’s future business and stays abreast of the dynamic financial situations our clients and suppliers face. She believes working together as a team and improving co-operation would help Asha, our suppliers and our buyers achieve better results. Patricia’s counsel to young women would be to develop a habit of learning and take complete responsibility of the task at hand.

Patricia enjoys a balanced life through efficient time management, making time for her work life & her personal life. When she is not working with financial figures and data, Patricia enjoys listening to slow Hindi music. Patricia has worked hard for her family and dreams of one day seeing her children pursue and achieve their own dreams.