International Women’s Day 2024: How ‘Inspire Inclusion’ hits the mark


This year's International Women’s Day (IWD) theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion’ underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality and encourages everyone to recognise the unique perspectives and contributions of women. To celebrate IWD 2024, we asked a few of our colleagues at Tate & Lyle about their perspective through the lens of this year’s theme and what it means to them. 

Here’s what they had to say:


Melissa Law – President, Global Operations


Melissa Law celebrates IWD2024

Inspiring inclusion ties to two aspects of life for me – personal (outside of work) and professional (at work). Staying connected with leaders across industries is a remarkable source of career inspiration and the engagement offers great learning circles that I can input into and use to evolve my own thinking. As a mother of two teenage sons, I am incredibly open about the challenges that I have faced and face to be successful in my role as a woman, even at the level of executive achievement that I have attained. It is important that my sons know that women can hold any position, but equally so for them to understand that they have a part to play in ensuring inclusivity, in home life and in the workplace.

At Tate & Lyle, I’m part of a progressive organization where everyone is valued for who they are and their contributions delivered to the business. I have an intentional focus on recruiting, developing, and promoting women in manufacturing operations and driving the changes needed for them to succeed. I am proud of the progress we’ve made ― our Center of Excellence teams within our Global Operations function are comprised of greater than 50% women and we’ve increased women in technical engineering roles to 20%, almost doubling it compared to a few years ago. I wish I could tell my younger self to be confident in the differences that make me who I am and ultimately unlock my success ― sharing my story to #inspireinclusion helps me continue to be a strong role model for the next generation workforce.

Grace Kim - Category Manager, Beverages


Grace Kim celebrates IWD 2024

Women in the scientific community are impressive. Yet, Tate & Lyle is the first company I have worked for where I feel my difference is a valued asset. I find myself feeling very proud that the majority of leadership in the technical teams here at Tate & Lyle are women and that our teams reflect those of our customers. This is one of the unique things about working in food science I’ve experienced: the always prominent representation of women – but not only women…women of color. Perhaps, it’s this inclusive nature within diverse teams and this corner of the science profession that is the catalyst for accelerating innovation in both the workplace and the future of food.

Earlier in my career, it was implied that to ‘have a seat at the table’ as a woman in the workforce, you had to emulate masculinity. Today, we’re all benefiting from a community of women and men who have paved the way for our modern workplace to be far more dynamic and hold the space for a more equitable, diverse and inclusive culture. I am able to continue the effort to make progress by challenging those who tend to be more feminine to believe that there is power in being who you are because there is! Acceptance for being bold in calling out the blind spots and fostering a culture that encourages collective progress. It’s this kind of inclusivity that inspires me to use my own sphere of influence to set the tone as a leader and turn those opportunities into action that makes the positive changes I want to see in the world.

Dawn Allen - Chief Financial Officer


Dawn Allen celebrates IWD2024

I firmly believe that you write your own story in life and your career is very likely to be an important part of that story. With those different chapters, there are choices to be made which you have to be comfortable with, but I have seen women especially struggle in being comfortable with their choices ― which impacts their ability to flourish whether it be in the workplace or outside of it.

As I’ve gained more experience, I’ve reaffirmed the power of ‘being myself’ — meaning the things that differentiate me make me unique and allow me to bring my whole self to the role. It’s that realisation that makes me proud to work in this capacity for Tate & Lyle, where we all work hard to inspire and progress women in leadership within our culture. It’s also one of the reasons I share my story to #inspireinclusion and encourage you to look at your story through your own lens and that of others, so you may write the next chapter to inspire all of us.

Sapna McCarthy – Senior Manager, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


Sapna McCarthy celebrates IWD2024

Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said “Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”. When I think about inclusion these days, I often think about this – “How can I inspire others to join me?” Real change requires lots of people to sustain it.

To inspire inclusion, we need to develop our own capacity as individuals for curiosity about other perspectives, practice equanimity, and make the best choices we can to further drive and advocate for the changes we care about while being informed enough about other people’s viewpoints to approach and persuade them from a place that resonates and matters to them. If you truly want to #inspireinclusion, adopt a growth mindset for yourself and others, and start a real and productive dialog. This is how we will make a better way forward for all – together.

Lindsay Beardsell - Executive Vice President, General Counsel


Lindsay Beardsall celebrates IWD2024

I look back at the world and realise just how far we’ve come in supporting inclusivity for women in the workplace. When I took my first General Counsel role, I was a young woman starting out in leadership. I knew I’d been brought on board to bring a different perspective and drive change, but when I walked into the office — it was strikingly obvious just how different I was in comparison to the other executives around me.

Today, I am part of the Executive Committee at Tate & Lyle, where women make up 56% of the leadership team. When I joined, I quickly saw a gender-balanced leadership group and a collective recognition of the benefits of diversity in driving the business, as well as creating the culture for others to succeed. It is the first time I have been part of an Executive team where there is gender parity and a true respect for diversity of thought. It’s sometimes easy to forget how progressive we are at Tate & Lyle when I’m immersed in such an inclusive workplace every day. Now, being older and (hopefully!) wiser, I will only continue to work in organisations where I feel I can always bring my authentic self to work and serve to make positive change for others to do the same as well.

Piera Vitali – Category Director, Dairy & Baby Food


Piera Vitali celebrates IWD2024

Taking action towards inclusion involves first acknowledging and appreciating diversity and individual differences—which is often underestimated. In the past year, I’ve experienced a couple of instances which have exemplify the importance of working in an inclusive workplace.

Throughout these experiences, what stands out to me is the significance of empathy. By putting ourselves in others' shoes, we can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and motivations. This understanding allows us to respond in a more compassionate and effective manner. By embracing diversity and challenging established norms, we can create workplaces that foster inclusivity. Ones where we are all taking the time to truly understand others and their perspectives, which will in turn lead to stronger connections and more fulfilling experiences both professionally and personally. To inspire inclusion myself, I strive to create an environment that values and recognises the contributions of each individual, ensuring that everyone feels included and empowered.


At Tate & Lyle, we believe inclusion is the act — a dynamic state of operating that enables everyone to feel safe, respected and valued for who they are and for their contributions towards organisational and societal goals. This is the definition that grounds us as we build stronger, more inclusive communities where we work and live, focusing on those areas where we can make the most difference. This is a collective effort by our people who are passionate about our purpose and making Tate & Lyle a successful business and a great place to work.


We are at our best when we feel we can be ourselves and we are proud to amplify our peoples' voices to #inspireinclusion with others for International Women’s Day.


Black colleague operating industrial machinery

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