Special Feature: Influential women in the business products world

In this special feature, OPI highlights the 50 most influential and inspirational female leaders in the business and workplace supplies sector

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Every time I look at our Top 100 list (that we’ve been producing for over 20 years), visit an industry event or indeed write and edit this magazine, I’m struck by how few women are in leadership positions in our space.

Granted, there has been progress over the years I’ve been working at OPI, but it would still be an enormous stretch to speak of anything resembling gender equality. So, several months ago, the OPI team set out to establish just who and where the most influential women in business supplies are. The idea was to publish our findings in the March issue of OPI to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March. 

We canvassed opinions from organisations and industry peers from around the globe to create a pool of nominations, a shortlist so to speak. A big ‘thank you’ here to everyone who helped in this endeavour. 

It was hugely interesting to delve into this vast pool and learn about so many personalities. It became obvious that, firstly, the female potential in our space is bigger than we thought and, secondly, that we had to zoom into the specific criteria to get our final list. One of these criteria was that they must be outward- and customer-facing which eliminated several senior executives in core internal roles.

Shaping our industry

This is the result. On the following pages, you will find 50 individuals who are truly and comprehensively shaping the organisations they work for, if not their entire geographic region or the industry as a whole. They are absolute proof that there needn’t be a glass ceiling for female leaders in business supplies. 

Personalities are listed in alphabetical order by surname, rather than by geography, channel or company.  

We could have filled this entire magazine with the career journeys, achievements and aspirations of these 50 women. It would likely have been easier than condensing down the incredible amount of information we collated into just ten pages. I certainly have been living and breathing ‘influential women in the business products world’ for weeks and been humbled and impressed in equal measure. 

I appreciate that the cover image – shades of pink – could be regarded as somewhat clichéd, controversial even, but the OPI team quite simply liked it. We hope you do too. 

I would love to hear your feedback on this inaugural list, so please email me at
heike.dieckmann@opi.net.

Click here to see the full list of influential women in the business products world.