#InspireInclusion: International Women’s Day 2024 at BurdaLuxury

#InspireInclusion: International Women’s Day 2024 at BurdaLuxury

This International Women’s Day at BurdaLuxury, we’re Inspiring Inclusion by celebrating our commitment to gender parity, with women comprising 65% of our organisation (a 5% increase from last year).

As part of our ongoing efforts, we’re continuing to highlight the remarkable achievements of women globally, an example of which is through Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s #WomenOnTheMarch campaign, which launched in 2022. This initiative celebrates extraordinary women travelers and achievers who continually inspire us, spanning a diverse spectrum of artists, authors, and chefs, to social media influencers, sportswomen, and entrepreneurs. This year, Travel + Leisure India & South Asia shine a spotlight on individuals like Sameera Reddy, Sonali Bendre, Virali Modi, and Lily Singh, among others.

Lifestyle Asia Thailand’s new digital cover also joins the celebration. This March, Lifestyle Asia Thailand features Valentina Ploy, whose story is all about manifestation and how her confidence helped turn her dreams into reality. We’re empowered to amplify stories of inspiring women worldwide.

Let’s hear from some of the women who make up BurdaLuxury as they discuss the significance of International Women’s Day – what it means to them, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the wisdom they wish to impart to fellow women. Happy International Women’s Day!

Tonk Jirawadee Altstadt
Group Advertising Director in Sales, Prestige Thailand & Lifestyle Asia Thailand

What’s a milestone that you’ve been proud of achieving? 
At Burda, the journey is always filled with excitement and enjoyment. In the past year, we had several new clients and organized 16 exclusive events. Achieving our sales targets for Prestige and LSA in 2023 was fulfilling. This year, I’m proud of the Rolex Microsite on the Prestige Online website in Q3 2024. Looking forward to 2024, we’re excited and committed to maintaining our dedication to success! 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 
It holds significant importance for me. I strongly believe in the equality of all individuals, both as a leader and in expressing opinions. I advocate for equal opportunities without considering age or gender. 

What policies or practices have you implemented to support work-life balance for yourself and/or women within your team? 
To achieve a good work-life balance, I emphasize effective time management and clear communication. Aligning team members on briefs, expectations, and deadlines not only enhances workflow but also helps everyone manage their time better—a small change with a big impact! 

Looking to the future, what are your goals and aspirations for furthering diversity and inclusion in your leadership role? 
Looking ahead, in my leadership role is to cultivate an environment where every individual feels genuinely valued and heard. I envision a workplace where diversity is not merely acknowledged but celebrated, fostering an atmosphere where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives and talents. 

Natasha Kraal
Publisher, Malaysia

Can you tell us about your career journey at BurdaLuxury?
It’s only been a year in, but certainly an enriching learning experience in re-shaping BurdaLuxury in Malaysia with a new, dynamic direction.

What’s a milestone that you’ve been proud of achieving?
Definitely transforming the corporate culture with a positive mindset, that also encourages and respects creativity, inclusivity, and diversity. Also symbolically, with a brand-new office at KL Eco City, where I supervised the entire construction and completion. Soon ahead: two major launches, of Lifestyle Asia in Bahasa Malaysia, and Travel + Leisure Malaysia. Also, a major philanthropic project: a charity auction in partnership with The Melium Group where we aim to raise RM5 million for 12 audited charities in Malaysia.

How do you think men can be allies in the fight for gender equality, particularly on International Women’s Day?
First, by listening and learning to the current issues that women face, and then giving them the space and respect to be heard. Men do want to support; it’s about understanding how to actively practise allyship.

What policies or practices have you implemented to support work-life balance for yourself and/or the women within your team?
I start every morning with a 6km run or tennis to clear my mind and recharge my energy. I want to be ready and at my best for my team and the work. I’ve also introduced ‘Wellness Wednesday’ where we have gone on rainforest hikes, and ‘Fitness Friday’ where we had tennis lessons by a national tennis player/coach, also recently, Padel!

Ashima Sethi
Senior Editor, Prestige Thailand

Can you tell us about your journey at BurdaLuxury?
I joined BurdaLuxury a year and a half ago and I’m currently a Senior Editor for Prestige Thailand. My responsibilities centre on creating engaging written and video content for our online portals, liaising with the sales team to deliver on campaigns, building microsites, and so forth. The journey has been equal parts challenging and rewarding thus far!

What’s a milestone that you’ve been proud of achieving?
When I was very young, at the end of every year I used to gift my family members a homemade magazine inspired by pictures and spreads I loved. I never thought I’d go on to have the opportunity to work in media as a grown up, so being able to turn that childhood hobby into a job is a milestone I celebrate everyday.

How do you think International Women’s Day contributes to raising awareness about gender equality?
I think International Women’s Day encourages everyone to take a step back and reflect on how far women have come in regard to our diverse contributions to society, as well as analyse what work needs to be done to achieve true gender equality moving forward.

How do you think men can be allies in the fight for gender equality, particularly on International Women’s Day?
I think it begins with understanding male privilege within society, and then using this understanding as leverage to do things like amplify women’s voices, advocate for gender equal policies in the workplace, address sexism when confronted with it within your circles, and so forth.

Who are some women who inspire you?
I’m blessed to be surrounded by countless women who inspire me, but my mum is someone I look up to very much because of her ability to handle any situation with so much grace, kindness and compassion. She inspires me to be better to myself, and those around me, every day.

Lena Kwek
Managing Director & Publisher, Singapore

Can you tell us about your career journey at BurdaLuxury?
I started my career at BurdaLuxury in 2018. I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, setting strategic directions, and ensuring the company’s financial health and success. Right from the beginning, I had to make important decisions that align with the company’s vision and strategy. Over time I have encountered both challenges and opportunities for growth and development, such as developing new business models. Over the years it has been a journey of unforeseen changes and market shifts, and my team and I have successfully navigated these challenges and seized the right opportunities in order to achieve the company’s key goals and objectives.

What is a milestone that you’ve been proud of achieving?
One of the milestones that I am proud of is building a strong, high performing team who leverage their collective skills, diverse perspectives, and complementary skills to accomplish challenging goals that we face. Great teamwork is the only way we create breakthroughs that define where the Singapore office is today. The team we have today is hyper-focused on achieving clear and outstanding results which made the past year one of the best ever for BurdaLuxury Singapore.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a global event to celebrate all women on a national level, raising awareness of their work and challenges they face. Women have always played an essential role in the society we are in today and IWD is an opportunity to celebrate their contribution while highlighting the need for gender equality.

What policies or practices have you implemented to support work-life balance for yourself and/or women within your team?
BurdaLuxury Singapore offers family-oriented benefits such as parental leave, family leave, in office childcare support, work from home arrangements, and a Wellness Day that has been implemented recently. I believe that when women are empowered, they make informed decisions about their lives, and contribute to their communities and society as a whole and that flexible work options offer substantial benefits to women and our organisation. This flexibility is particularly transformative for women with caregiving responsibilities, allowing them to harmonise family needs with professional obligations.

Looking to the future, what are your goals and inspiration in furthering diversity and inclusion in your leadership role?
My goal will be to provide more training and development opportunities that address diversity, equity, and inclusion. This may be in the form of workshops and seminars that can help staff learn critical thinking skills such as cultural competency, communication, and collaboration. I aim to work closely with Human Resources to set goals in order to attract, recruit and promote a diverse pool of candidates for all roles. I would strongly encourage diversity and inclusion mentoring in the future whereby we can establish both formal and informal mentorship programmes that encourage diversity and inclusivity.
In short, my goal is to create a work culture where everyone can thrive, feel included, and contribute to the key success of our company.

Annesha Sanyal
Director of Sales & Brand Solutions – Lifestyle, India

Can you tell us about your career journey at BurdaLuxury?
My journey at BurdaLuxury has been nothing short of fulfilling. I have had the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, taking on diverse roles that have challenged me to innovate and excel. Every step has been a learning experience, and I’m grateful for the support and opportunities that I have been provided with.

What inspired you to work in publishing/media?
As a brand solution professional, I’m inspired by the dynamic world of publishing and media for its ability to amplify voices, share impactful stories, and connect with audiences globally. This industry lets me blend creativity with strategy, making a meaningful impact through content and communication. As a woman, I find fulfillment in leveraging my skills to empower brands and drive positive change. Through strategic solutions, I help brands increase visibility, enhance reputation, and engage customers, supporting their growth and success.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a celebration of resilience, strength, and progress. It is a day to honour the achievements of women worldwide, acknowledge the challenges they’ve overcome, and renew our commitment to gender equality. For me, it’s a reminder of the endless possibilities when women are empowered, supported, and given equal opportunities to thrive in every aspect of life.

What policies or practices have you implemented to support work-life balance for yourself and/or women within your team?
At BurdaLuxury, I have been a strong advocate for fostering a culture of work-life balance. I believe that providing flexibility, support, and resources for employees to prioritise their well-being is crucial. Personally, I’ve implemented strategies such as time-blocking for focused work, regular check-ins with team members to assess workload and stress levels and promoting open communication about boundaries and expectations. By prioritising self-care and setting clear boundaries, I have seen firsthand how it positively impacts productivity and overall satisfaction within the team.

Who are some women who inspire you?
In the dynamic world of publishing and media, Oprah Winfrey stands out as an inspiring figure. Her groundbreaking work across television, journalism, and media entrepreneurship has shattered barriers and paved the way for future generations of women. She amplifies diverse voices, advocates for social justice, and inspires millions worldwide.
Another inspiration is Michelle Obama, whose advocacy for social causes and empowerment initiatives has ignited significant change and uplifted countless individuals. Her leadership, resilience, and commitment to making a positive impact serve as a beacon of inspiration for me.

Sonya Shah
Regional Manager, Human Resources and Compliance

Can you tell us about your career journey at BurdaLuxury?
My journey at BurdaLuxury has been incredibly fulfilling. My role over the years has allowed me to play a crucial role in shaping our organisation’s future and culture and has helped me grow both professionally and personally.

What’s a milestone that you’ve been proud of achieving?
One of my proudest moment was when I was trusted with the responsibility to oversee HR and compliance for Asia and ensure our brand ethos and values reflect across all nationalities.

How do you think men can be allies in the fight for gender equality, particularly on International Women’s Day?
Men can be strong allies in the fight for gender equality by actively listening to women’s experiences, amplifying their voices, and advocating for equal opportunities and recognition. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all.

What policies or practices have you implemented to support work-life balance for yourself and/or the women within your team?
I have implemented various policies and practices to support work-life balance for all team members, including flexible work arrangements and support programmes. These initiatives aim to create a more supportive and inclusive environment for everyone, including women in my team.

Looking to the future, what are your goals and aspirations for furthering diversity and inclusion in your leadership role?
My goal is to continue fostering a diverse and inclusive environment by championing equal opportunities and representation. I am committed to ensuring that our team and organisation reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

What is a project that you’re currently working on (if you’re at liberty to say)?
Currently I’m working on employee’s pulse and engagement activities, ensuring that it is streamlined across Asia and remains in-line with our values.

Who are some women who inspire you?
Women who inspire me include Malala Yousafzai for her courage and advocacy for girls’ education, Jacinda Ardern for her compassionate leadership and commitment to well-being, and Angela Merkel for her leadership and commitment to diplomacy. These women serve as role models for me both in my personal and professional life.

Netty Venita Prommaporn
Regional Director of Communications and Corporate Development

Can you tell us about your career journey at BurdaLuxury?
I joined BurdaLuxury in 2020, initially focusing on corporate communications: working on internal and external comms for different projects we were launching, creating content for our corporate social media channels, and working closely with our technology team to build a BurdaLuxury website. Since then, my role has expanded to include corporate development, and as part of that I now work on differnet projects both regionally and locally – most recently that has expanded to include our Masterclass and Personal Branding initiatives in Thailand.

Looking to the future, what are your goals and aspirations for furthering diversity and inclusion in your leadership role?
One of the topics I feel very passionately about is ED&I. I was lucky enough to hear from the leadership team at BurdaInternational and Immediate Media on the great work they’ve done around ED&I, and it’s something that we’ll be working on this year. Especially as a company with 5 different markets across Asia, it’s so important to make sure we have fair practices that promote equality and a diverse mix of people working on our projects. I’m working with a great team on this, and while we’re still in the very early stages, it’s been a very interesting and meaningful project to work on and one that I hope can really create an inclusive culture.

What is a project that you’re currently working on (if you’re at liberty to say)?
One project that I’m working on – alongside a great team – is scaling our Masterclass event series. We had our first series last year, Prestige High Flyers Club, and this year we’re working on a networking event series for Lifestyle Asia for the growing international community in Bangkok. Another project is Personal Branding: essentially a service where we provide PR strategy, social media strategy, account management and image consultancy services for our clients. It’s a new area for me, and what has been the most enjoyable part is working with a team who are so passionate and creative about their ideas.

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Piradej Monga

Regional Communications Manager

Piradej Monga
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