Yana Mikhailova (CEO of Nestlé South East market – Adriatic region, Bulgaria and Romania) once again have responded to the AFA Association’s invitation to collaboration. She was the participant of the open panel debate “Equality Works Better”, but also she answered the questions we prepared for her.

AFA: You’ve made an impressive career in International, Switzerland based company, but what would be different if you started in Russia based company? Would you be treated differently and would you be offered with the same opportunities?

Yana Mikhailova: I’ve graduated from the university as a biologist, I’ve started working at the scientific Russian institute and I was doing, prior to Nestle, few other things. Then I’ve joined Nestle and I worked here for a long time. Would something be different? I don’t know! But I can tell you why am I for so long time in Nestle: Because the company values are so powerful, with such a strong message rooted in respect, they are so close to my personal values and I am so happy that I can be the part of Nestlé’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to the healthier future of the people, it is so powerful and to be part of this story means very much to me.

AFA: What is the situation regarding diversity inside Nestlé?

Yana Mikhailova: In Nestlé diversity and inclusion is not only recognized, it is supported. In Nestlé the conditions are shaping. And when conditions are really favourable we can see how it is resulting in a certain increasing percentage of women in the leadership positions in the company. And Nestlé is making a really big progress, we can see how it is evolving, for example in last few years. Now, we have over 35% of women in leadership positions in the world. And Nestle Adriatic is a great example, because in the board of directors we have 60% women.

AFA: How important are the conferences like this one for the society?

Yana Mikhailova: „It’s a good step. This is another action to bring this subject ahead of the agenda, as I was saying, gender equality, gender balance, diversity and inclusion are the terms that I like the most. Diversity is the essence of the evolution, for the evolution to progress, you need diversity, this is the good way to do things, to keep them high on agenda. Because there is a big benefit of this for the society, for the business, for the culture“

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