With Romania having the first woman to ever hold the Presidency of the Senate and having noticed that women play an increasing role both in public and private sector, either by holding C-level positions or being members of the board, Business Review invites you to discover the professional stories of outstanding women who have spectacular results and who built their career in fields which are known to be dominated by men.
The transition from journalism to communications was a significant step forward for Ramona Dumitru, Communications and Public Affairs Director at Veolia Romania, setting the foundations and teaching her valuable lessons for her current role.
By Anda Sebesi
Ramona Dumitru’s professional journey began in the world of journalism, where she worked for the most reputable business newspapers on the market. She made the switch to the ever-evolving field of communications in 2003 and she was fortunate to work with top PR and advertising agencies and learn the ropes alongside top figures of the Romanian and international industry. “This trained me for my current position. I joined the team in a C-level position in 2017, and since then I have been in charge of communications for all seven Veolia companies operating in Romania,” Dumitru says.
Traditionally, water and energy are perceived to be very male-dominated sectors. However, Veolia promotes and honours diversity, innovation, and social responsibility. “Gender equality is a top priority for the company and through training, mentoring, and development programmes, our culture encourages women to develop and nurture their talents and helps them achieve their professional goals. I have been a first-hand recipient of this benefit working for a company like Veolia and have personally experienced this type of support,” she explains.
But how did she manage to succeed in a sector dominated by men? “I am a very ambitious woman, so I try to meet any challenge with tena-
city, an intuitive strategic approach, and an authentic sense of self-confidence. Thanks to my resilience and innate communication skills, I was able to overcome the difficulties and limits that came with working and growing as a woman in such a challenging professional environment.” Dumitru points to the fact that the last 50 years have been defined by a great transformation of the labour force, with more women having risen to senior, C-level positions inside a large number of organisations and business sectors that had traditionally been reserved for men – serving as evidence of the changing role of women in society. “I think that every time a woman sets her mind on something in her professional life, she should do everything in her power – within reason – to achieve that goal. And she should never feel the need apologise for her ambition,” she argues.
She adds that translating the technical vernacular that in some cases may be inaccessible for many of the company’s customers into more friendly, easy to read language was a challenge that the company addressed by always maintaining an open dialogue with the communities it served. At the same time, it adopted internal communication strategies and tactics to create a healthy, cohesive, inspiring, and productive work environment. “Once you learn how to actively listen and successfully communicate the company’s vision and mission in an assertive, yet sympathetic manner, your job is almost done.”
Asked about her biggest achievements as a C-level executive, Dumitru says that the fact that the company has an impact on so many lives comes with a high level of responsibility for its leaders. “Our communication campaigns always include strong education and responsibility components, and I am grateful that this is being recognised by the industry as well.”