Melissa-Whiting_PMI

Melissa Whiting

VICE PRESIDENT INCLUSION & DIVERSITY AT PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL (PMI)

Describe your position and task in one sentence
I lead the changes required to make PMI a truly inclusive workplace in which talented women and men who reflect the diversity of the world feel welcome, valued and are enabled to fully participate, both individually and collectively to unlock the creativity and innovation needed to accomplish PMI’s vision of a smoke-free future.

What inspires you about your job?
I’m inspired and motivated by the contributions that multi-national businesses, like PMI, can make towards a better, more equitable, more sustainable world – like walking the talk on equal pay and improving the gender balance of their organizations, among others.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m inspired by the conversations and interactions I have with so many men and women from different backgrounds and life experiences to me, who share their stories and often challenge my own perception of the world, helping me grow.

What is your big challenge in digital transformation?
We need to foster a truly inclusive, diverse workplace to generate the creativity and innovation needed if we are to meet the ever-changing needs of the consumer – through our products, applications and consumer touchpoints— in today’s digital era. Reflecting the world’s diversity in the design of your product or service today has become mission-critical if want to appeal to the widest customer base and stay ahead of the competition.

What makes you special - is there a personal commitment or leitmotif to which you feel committed?
As an avid high altitude hiker - I’ve hiked the Himalaya, up Kilimanjaro, around Mt Blanc and across the Pyrenees - I’ve learnt that early on in a difficult climb, it takes tremendous effort to keep going but as you grow accustomed to the exposure and altitude, you learn to trust yourself - and your team – to push through the discomfort and take in the view. Building off this experience, I’m committed to connecting people, understanding their different stories, hope and fears and helping them overcome barriers to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.