This is what I am discovering about the exemplary career and worklife blend of a woman who is a business leader, it stretches your imagination. And it cannot just be about work alone, it is about total life. For Blanca Juti, just after finishing a transformation work at her last role, she was anxious to learn new things. And she continues …
Thinking it was a good moment in time to hand over the baton to my successor and take some time off. I was hoping to write a book as I have always done in my sabbaticals, this was my third. I took six months out and went to join my husband in Finland, hibernating in the north, and enjoying it.
But then, I started to get a few calls. L’Oreal was looking for somebody to drive a transformation in communication and public affairs. The rest as they said, is history.
Atlantic Circle InConversation Women in Business
Rhian-Anwen Hamill and Blanca Juti, two UWC Atlantic College graduates and friends, discuss Blanca’s career journey; her hopes, and aspirations. As well as the dilemmas she has faced as a business leader along the way.
You can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UWC Atlantic College to hear directly from Blanca Juti in, Career and WorkLife Blend of Woman Business Leader.
“Many times we want to be perfect at everything and so we are carrying guilt all the time. And I decided that I can be a perfect mum for five minutes. And then I can be perfect in the office for five minutes … I can’t be simultaneously good at both.”
Launching Out and Learnings In Executive Roles
The first thing I do is that I am just listening; observe, learn, suck in the culture, understand how things are. At that stage, I am just a sponge, absorbing, sucking it all in. It is only when I understand what is needed, then I get together with the team and form our vision.
When I joined Heineken and I went to my first executive committee meeting, in two minutes, I could tell everything about the power structure of the company – by just looking at where people were sitting. My question was, was this a setting that changes, or is it stable? Knowing it was a stable sitting arrangement, it told me everything. I could see the hierarchy in the leadership team.
Standing Out to be That Inclusive Force
L’Oreal is a French company; for the first time, we have an Indian gentleman, and myself. And the others in the executive committee are mostly European. So it is a big change.
Rhian-Anwen asked Blanca, “corporate life could be very exciting and it could also be a bit of a takeover at times. How, as an individual, do you mitigate the effect it has on you or potentially could have – in such a way that it could take you over as an individual?”
“I am able to put the two things (home and office) apart. When I am in the office, I never feel guilty that I am not at home. And when I am at home, I do not feel guilty that I am not in the office.“
That is right. It could totally take you over. The pace is fast. In any material, if you want to be great at it, you have to practise a lot – as a great tennis player, sculptor, or musician, you practise a lot. And business sometimes requires that. So you put your energy into it. And you can very easily lose your identity, part of this tribal thing. People become the company. Their identity becomes the company. If they ever lose their job, they feel they have lost everything. Sometimes, people get too uptight about hierarchy and how they advance in the ladder. For me, there are a few things that mitigate that. Go listen more at UWC or worklifefeed.
How To Embrace Uncertainty At Work
You can also watch How To Embrace Uncertainty At Work by Blanca Juti … “no one is perfect, so why should I be perfect? ... I need to feel what uncertainty feels like … life is not a train, and (that) not everything is certain. You don’t just get told where you go, you have to make life for yourself. It is up to you to make it, …your career progression… Don’t wait for someone else to shape your life. It is yours“
“Life is not a train that you get into. And then you wait for the conductor to say, ‘step down sir, you have arrived at your destination.’ Life is a mixture of choices that you have to make.“
Welcome to Worklifefeed: Career and WorkLife Blend of a Woman Business Leader.
Blanca Juti at L’Oreal: On the 12th of January 2021, L’Oréal announced the appointment of Blanca JUTI to the Group’s Executive Committee in the role of Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer. Blanca is an anthropologist by training, with a Doctor of Philosophy from Cambridge University and an MBA from Dallas University. She has over 25 years’ experience working in consumer-facing industries in the technology, entertainment, and food & beverage sectors. And this has been acquired throughout Europe, USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa.