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“Rome wasn’t built in a day. Social change takes time”

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In our Diversity@NORMA series, we highlight the diversity of employees who work at NORMA Group. In 2021, the series focuses on NORMA Group’s female employees. Female colleagues from a variety of departments and countries report on their professional and personal experiences and provide insight into their wishes for the future.

Sonia Palomeque is Marketing Manager DS EMEA at the NORMA Group site in Barcelona, Spain. In an interview, she talks about private and professional role models and the passion she has for her career.

What woman has had the greatest impact on you in your life, and why?

As is the case with most women, both my mother and my grandmother had a tremendous influence on me and my personality. But I was also particularly influenced by the Canadian journalist and author Naomi Klein. I have been following her career for quite a few years now. She writes about issues such as globalization, climate change and feminism. In an industry that tends to be dominated by men, she has made a name for herself with socially critical topics and has always managed to remain true to herself and be very authentic. It is a source of inspiration for me.

Do you have professional role models? If yes, who are they and why are they your role models? 

There are so many strong and motivating women in this world. One of them is Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is strong, confident, always approachable and yet so modern. She is a professional role model for me because she demonstrates every day that women can lead, that women can balance a family and a career and that women can take on the biggest challenges, including terrorist attacks and the Corona pandemic, with flying colors. The world needs more women like Jacinda Ardern.

And what does your career mean to you?

I went abroad directly after graduating from university. I have worked in a number of countries and in a wide range of business environments. Through it all, I have learned from many talented women and always had a mentor by my side. I have learned to look at things from different cultural perspectives. The knowledge I gained during this time continues to help deal with the tasks I face on a daily basis.

In marketing, I deal a lot with the so-called customer journey. What needs do people have and what factors influence their decision-making? These are questions that I passionately deal with every day. In our increasingly digital world, the customer journey is becoming more diverse and the process and steps a customer has to go through is drastically different compared to the offline world. This makes my daily work more challenging. I find these new challenges incredibly exciting. We also have to learn to think outside the box and move out of our comfort zones. I really enjoy the variety my job offers and it motivates me to look for new solutions.

What has changed socially during your professional career?

I’m still relatively young, so it’s not like I’ve been in the workforce for decades. But even I notice that there have been gradual changes since the beginning of my career. There are an increasing number of women who hold leadership positions in business and politics. Diversity in general plays a much greater role than it did five or six years ago. It’ s a development that I value very much. I think we are heading in the right direction towards more equality and equal opportunities.

What do you wish for the future? And do you have any advice for all women?

I would, of course, really like to see the Corona pandemic come to an end. In terms of diversity and equality, I would like to see a fairer distribution of leadership positions in business and politics. Women and men are equal in terms of talent, intellect and qualifications and they should therefore be given the same opportunities.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Social change takes time. For this reason, I can only advise all women to be patient and take advantage of any opportunity to help shape social change. We are on the right track.

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