Last year, Lisboa connected with fellow Deere employees Cecília Breda, business development and partnering manager, and Fabiana Franco, dealer development manager, who also felt concerned by this trend — specifically, the lack of women in leadership positions at dealerships. They partnered with and were ultimately sponsored by Assodeere, the Brazilian Association of John Deere Distributors, forming a team with Giovana Teixeira, Assodeere's financial and sustainability director, and Rejane Hermann, its executive director. Together, they created "Women of Impact," a working group with a mission to work with the John Deere Dealership Network in Brazil to develop an organizational culture and further new and existing initiatives that allow for more space and support for women.
The ultimate goal is to increase the number of women working within the dealership network in general and in management specifically. Women currently hold 22 percent of the total positions and 19 percent of leadership positions within the network. "Women of Impact" is gaining steam by gathering data, initiating conversations with dealer leadership, and planning future events, including a kickoff.
"We've been trying to do this as organically as possible," Lisboa said. "We feel dealers want to own this journey, not because John Deere says it's important, but because they understand that it contributes to their sustainability."