Internation Women’s Day Spotlight – Priscilla Janssis and Esmeralda Aguiar

As International Women’s Day approaches, Twin Disc would like to highlight some of the remarkable women who work for us around the globe. Let’s proudly shine a spotlight on two extraordinary women who play pivotal roles in running Twinsa: Priscilla Janssis and Esmeralda Aguiar. 

Priscilla joined Twin Disc in April 1997 as an Accounts Receivable & Banking Assistant and has since worked her way up the ladder in the Finance Department until reaching her current role as Director of European Financial Shared Services. Esmeralda came aboard in December 2017 as a Purchasing Manager and similarly started moving up the ranks, taking over as Planning Manager before settling in as our dedicated Plant Manager. Despite differing roles, both Priscilla and Esmeralda have exhibited resilience, dedication, and a commitment to excellence as their careers have progressed. 

Each share similar sentiments about their ability to grow at Twin Disc with Esmeralda saying, “At Twin Disc, I never felt I was treated differently from my male colleagues.” Priscilla added, “I feel respected and supported by all my colleagues, male or female. Like other women, I had often felt that having a family and a career were unable to go hand in hand – but my career at Twin Disc has disproved this.” 

However, reflecting on their paths to success, Esmeralda acknowledges that it can be hard to be a woman in an industry that is predominately male, but she offers invaluable advice to aspiring women: “It requires hard work and days can be long, but always do things with passion. Always be respectful with others, even if you do not agree with the person, because it is also good to question ourselves about decisions as this can give us different perspectives. And always be persistent and honest with yourself.” 

When asked what #InspireInclusion means to them and why it is important, these two women provided powerful insight. “#InspireInclusion emphasizes the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society,” stated Priscilla. “It underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality. It calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. #InspireInclusion encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life. One of the key pillars of #InspireInclusion is the promotion of diversity in leadership and decision-making positions. Women, especially those belonging to underrepresented groups, continue to face barriers when seeking leadership roles. By championing inclusion, organizations and communities can harness the full potential of diverse perspectives, leading to better decision-making and innovation.” 

Esmeralda can reference her own life and her career at Twinsa when reflecting on the importance of #InspireInclusion. “I am Portuguese and, having spent part of my life in France, I see myself as a mix of the Portuguese and French cultures. When moving to Belgium, I had to adapt to this new culture. At Twinsa, we have people that come from diverse backgrounds which makes for very interesting exchanges as points of view are not always the same. What is important is being respectful to others. This is what diversity is about – respecting each other and listening. We always have something to learn from each other.” 

So, as we approach International Women’s Day and reflect on how each of us can #InspireInclusion, Priscilla and Esmeralda share their messages: 

“Let us reaffirm our commitment to creating a world where all women are empowered, valued, and included. By working together to break down barriers and foster diversity, we can build a more equitable and inclusive society for generations to come. We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Priscilla Janssis 

“I have read somewhere that the gender equity is ‘the process of being fair to women and men’. I think this is the best message we can give.” – Esmeralda Aguiar 

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