Alimentiv is proud to continuously honour and recognize the achievements of women and foster this culture globally amongst our employees and prospective candidates. This month, we are taking time to highlight Arti Ramji, Senior Manager, Human Resources & Engagement for Alimentiv. Arti took some time to discuss her growth and development within the company, motivation, and inspiration for women as well as advice for women in leadership and future leaders.

What was your start and journey within the company?

I joined the company back in 2015 as a Learning Consultant and was brought in to implement Alimentiv’s new Learning Management System. I eventually joined Alimentiv as an employee and continued working on Learning and Development initiatives. In early 2020, I stepped in to lead the HR team, right before the global pandemic hit! It has been quite a whirlwind year of learning, growth, and resilience.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

This is always a challenge, but for me, the long and hard learned lesson in how to do it successfully is rooted in mindfulness: really being present in what you are doing in that moment. When I’m working, I try to stay completely present and engaged in work. When I’m living my life outside of work, I try to be completely present and engaged in those activities. The important people in my life deserve nothing less. It’s not easy and I’m not perfect at it, but I really think this is what works for me.

As a female leader, what has been the most motivational thing you’ve seen amongst other women?

Throughout my career, I have witnessed the great support system that we as women can find in other women. We underestimate our strength in numbers. Women working together are an often undervalued, powerful force because we think and approach problem-solving differently. In recognition of this, there has recently been a proliferation of women’s networking groups. I see women across generations, including my daughters, fearlessly bringing ideas forward, sharing differing perspectives, getting involved in their communities, being heard, and making a difference.

Is there something you’ve witnessed or experienced that was encouraging or you found promoted strength in women?

Traditionally, women have been afraid to acknowledge the duality of their roles as caregivers at home and professional women at work. In my experience, it is exactly that duality that gives us the strength to persevere and be resilient. When my first daughter was born, I decided to stay home with her instead of going back to work right away, though I had every intention of going back eventually. Two more kids later, I didn’t end up going back to the workforce. It wasn’t until they were all in their twenties that I decided to go back to school and get my Master’s degree which allowed me to make my way back into the working world. It was a challenging and intimidating experience to be a mature student looking to relaunch my career, but with the support of family and friends, I did it. In hindsight, I was able to use my experience as a mother in starting that new chapter of my career. As mothers and caregivers, our ability to be resourceful and extremely empathetic helps us in the workplace when we’re faced with difficult scenarios. The ability to be in both professional and caregiving roles in our life is what allows us to explore a wider range of solutions. The challenges of managing work/life balance for working mothers/caregivers are much more openly discussed today and this open dialogue is allowing these women to make more of an impact in the business world, than ever before.

Who inspired you and why?

My first inspirations were my parents. My father gave me a thirst for travel and adventure, and my mother, a strong yet gentle woman, always said, “if you are given an opportunity, take it”. I have taken those words to heart and have tried to embrace every opportunity, personal or professional, despite my fears. Beyond that, I’ve been blessed to have mentors who have believed in me, even when I didn’t. I am inspired daily by my family who show me there is a new and different way to think about things. I also work with incredibly smart and talented people who continue to inspire me to be better and keep learning.

What advice would you give to women wanting to be in leadership?

I would encourage them to put their fears aside and embrace challenges in their career regardless of how insecure they may feel. Learn to really listen from your heart and be empathetic – kindness and service in leadership is important. Above all, have confidence in your abilities. It is never too late to reach for that star and achieve your goals, no matter how impossible they may seem or how old you think you are. Surround yourself by people who are smarter than you and you will always have something to learn, because great things are never achieved alone. Finally, always have a sense of humour!