8 MARCH 2024

TOMRA celebrates International Women's Day 2024

International Women’s Day today celebrates the achievements of women across the globe, and the progress that has been made toward gender equity and representation. TOMRA has many talented women in its worldwide team, and today TOMRA Collection spotlights three women working across the company. Today, we meet Gloria Pereira, VP Operations UK & Ireland,  Flora Huang, Business Development Manager Asia, Hong Kong and Morgan Frohman, General Counsel, Shelton.  

What inspired you to join TOMRA and what is your current role at TOMRA Collection?

Gloria: After immersing myself in the retail industry for five years, I decided to pause and reflect on my aspirations. During this introspective break, serendipity led me to TOMRA – a sustainable company that felt like a dream realized. Being part of building a new entity in the UK & Ireland, while also embracing the right culture, was an incredibly fulfilling experience. Starting as a Project Manager, I seized the opportunity to grow into the role of VP Operations UK & Ireland, overseeing Service and People & Organization. Despite the challenges along my journey, the unwavering sense of purpose and the support of some truly fantastic people kept me moving forward. 

Flora: My journey with TOMRA is a tale of resilience and opportunity. Back in March 2020, they first approached me for the role of Senior Project Manager in Circular Economy. But fate had other plans – the pandemic froze the headcount. Yet, during those intense interviews, I glimpsed TOMRA’s purpose and vision, aligning perfectly with my career aspirations. You see, I yearned for a new economy, one rooted in sustainability, far from the traditional “old money” industries like oil and gas where I’d previously worked. 
Finally, I joined Tomra in 2021, experiencing the work in Circular Economy and finding the right place for me in Collection as “Business Development Manager of TOMRA Collection Asia”, based in Beijing, spearheading the Collection business across China and Hong Kong.   Then came February 2023, a pivotal moment. The Hong Kong Government launched a tender for the RVM Pilot Project, which is the pre-operation to the 2026 deposit return scheme. TOMRA’s decision to establish a local entity in Hong Kong led me there – six months of intense work, setting up “TOMRA Collection Hong Kong Limited”, assembling a local service team, passing government tests, and installing 120 reverse vending machines. Now we are in an installation period in Hong Kong; my current role is leading the TOMRA Hong Kong entity. 

 I was drawn to TOMRA because the company’s business aligns with my personal values. Working here enables me to make a positive impact on the planet. TOMRA’s commitment to sustainability and positive impact on the natural environment and climate is a worthy mission to support. I proudly tell people that I work for a company that champions the circular economy – where a bottle becomes a bottle again! As the General Counsel of TOMRA Collection Americas, I play a role in achieving our goals by ensuring legal compliance and promoting ethical business practices. In essence, my responsibilities involve drafting and reviewing contracts and delivering legal training 

What are some of the hobbies or passions that you pursue or enjoy outside of your work, and how do they enrich or influence your life or career? 

Flora: I practice Chinese classic dancing in my spare time and that has taught me valuable life lessons. Achieving a professional level in any skill, whether it’s a sport or hobby, demands dedication, persistence, and mastery of core techniques. These qualities have shaped my ability to learn, endure pressure, and maintain a resilient mindset. As I navigate through the journey of promoting deposit return in a new market, I draw upon these experiences. Just as in dance, the business landscape consists of twists, turns, and unexpected rhythms. The discipline and determination cultivated through my passion for dancing empower me to face obstacles head-on, adapt and not give up.  

Gloria: Living in London, I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to have a wealth of cultural experiences right at my doorstep. Live events, such as plays and musicals, captivate me with their artistic allure. Yoga, too, holds a special place in my heart.

Beyond its physical benefits, I appreciate its spiritual dimension. Through yoga, we learn to honor our uniqueness and avoid the trap of comparison with others. It offers calmness during stressful moments and serves as a powerful tool for self-awareness. These passions enrich my life by connecting me to art, culture and mindfulness. They also shape my perspective, reminding me to embrace individuality and find balance in both work and leisure. 

Morgan: Outside of work, I’m a busy mom of two young kids, and I cherish spending time outdoors especially when the weather is warm. My hobbies include cycling, hiking, and practicing yoga. These activities provide valuable breaks that allow me to recharge my batteries, balancing the demands of both family life and work. 

What are some of the skills or competencies that you think are essential or valuable for women to succeed in the times ahead?

Within the domain of effective communication, both verbal and written skills are essential. Whether you’re a woman or a man, clarity, empathy and collaboration pave the path to success. Combine these with a strong work ethic and unwavering confidence, and you’re ready to conquer any professional challenge.

Gloria: As we move forward, there are essential skills and competencies that women can embrace to thrive. Authenticity is a powerful asset; trust your instincts. Showing emotions and caring about others are not weaknesses; they demonstrate empathy and connection. And never underestimate your abilities; believe in yourself and your potential.  

 Embrace resilience and courage in the face of challenges, drawing strength from both masculine and feminine qualities. Be assertive and determined when navigating difficulties yet maintain empathy and effective communication skills to tackle intricate situations. Remember, success lies in the balance between strength and compassion. 

How would you encourage more women to choose a career in your field? 

Gloria: Empowering more women to choose careers in our field involves fostering a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The satisfaction of finding solutions to help customers—whether it’s fixing a machine or successfully delivering a project—drives our passion. Embrace continuous learning; there’s always something new to discover. Curiosity often leads to unexpected passions. Above all, working in both Service and People & Organization requires genuine care for people.

Morgan: To empower more women to pursue careers in law and thrive in professional settings, mentorship plays a crucial role. Men and women alike should actively support aspiring female lawyers by sharing experiences, offering guidance, and providing constructive feedback. Additionally, celebrating successful women in legal roles can inspire others and reinforce the importance of visibility. 

Flora: Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the planet? Join us in the rewarding field of recycling. As we introduce recycling and reverse vending to Asian countries, we recognize that most of these nations are in a developmental phase, working toward a prosperous future. However, true development extends beyond GDP—it encompasses sustainability. I especially encourage Asian women to consider careers in our field. By participating, you’ll help plant seeds for a sustainable future, leaving a positive impact on the environment and the next generation. Let’s create a wonderful experience together! 

Happy International Women’s Day from the team at TOMRA Collection!