Driven by boldness and ambition to learn, Serena Gonsalves continues to make her mark in the global and diverse world of Jotun. Read on to discover how she’s paving the way for the next generation of leaders.
“I never considered myself to be in a unique position. Then it occurred to me that I was interacting more with men than women.”
Serena Gonsalves, 39, reflects on the profound realisation she had three years into her decade-long career at Jotun.
“That only fuelled my desire to push against the glass ceiling. I reasoned that if I perform well, it will be easier for the next woman of colour to follow in my footsteps.”
Serena was born in India, but grew up in Dubai where she started working with Jotun back in 2011. Her curious approach and inspiring energy soon took her on a path to become an integral part in diverse and multicultural teams.
Although her knowledge of the company’s core business was minimal at first, Serena didn’t let that hinder her in any way. Excited and eager to learn about a new industry, she got her start in marketing and worked hard.
“In 2014, I was offered a position managing global communications for the Powder Coatings segment. Jotun wanted to grow the business and connect with non-buying customers like architects, owners, and designers. To me, the challenge was a game changer, and lots of fun!”
A storyteller at heart
Energetic, team-focused and career-driven, Serena has surely made her mark at Jotun. On a mission to accelerate digital solutions, she always brings her personality to the job.
“I have always been a storyteller. So, after completing my university studies and earning a master’s degree in Business, I eventually landed a role in marketing at Emirates Airlines. It was fast-paced and exciting, but I got restless.”
Now in her 10th year at Jotun, Serena occupies the role of Digital Customer Experience Manager for Performance Coatings. If that feels like a mouthful, she offers a simple explanation for what she does:
“My responsibility is to ensure that the ‘left impression’ a customer has of Jotun, on any of our digital touchpoints, is positive, helpful, and consistent.”
When asked if she has any advice for the next generation of ambitious, driven women of the world, she answers:
“Don’t be scared to take up space and be heard. And feel free to reach out. There are plenty of us who have broken glass ceilings, who can help you navigate your career without cutting yourselves on the shards!”
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