IWD2021 – Alba Garcia Abelaira: Collectively, We Can All Help Create a Better and Inclusive World

At Intelex, we celebrate the accomplishments of womxn every day.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD2021) is: “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.”  IWD2021 is asking: How will you help forge a gender-equal world? The answer is by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

Through our annual IWD blog series, we want to introduce you to a group of women like Alba – Intelex employees, customers and partners – who personify the achievements of women in tech and in EHSQ.

What is your name, title, and company?

Alba Garcia Abelaira, Global Quality Systems Manager, Kerry Group

How did you become in involved with EHSQ and/or technology?

My EHSQ journey started in my early career years, but it was when I joined Kerry Group when I really became involved with EHSQ systems – 7 years ago – and it has given me the opportunity to learn so much. I really like working in a function that is always putting the safety of everybody [first], while improving processes and ensuring high quality standards are met.  

In your career, what have you decided to #ChooseToChallenge?

Now more than ever, it is important to recognize the importance of supporting and empowering one another. Equal empowerment for all starts with each individual. Everyone brings something unique to the table, and collectively we can all help create a better and inclusive world.

I choose to celebrate everyone’s achievements. I choose to make women and others always feel special and strong. I choose not to bring anybody down.

What were your greatest challenges – personally or professionally – in 2020?

2020 was a challenging for everybody due to the pandemic situation, so I think that has [taken] a toll in each individual, but it has come with many learnings.

The greatest challenge from a personal and professional point of view was to adapt to this ‘’way of living.” Professionally, trying to perform my job from a desk at home – lacking personal interaction with my peers and my coworkers – and personally, living this whole situation away from my family with the intermittent worrying of “I will not be across the street” or close enough to them if something would have happen.

What was the primary learning(s) from 2020 that you brought with you into 2021?

Personally, I had to learn and accept that nothing is constant, and 2020 was a huge reminder of that reality. It’s very easy to fall into our routine and be complacent, but I learned that we need to make sure we are continually challenging assumptions, and we should not take anything for granted.

Be agile and flexible and recognize the importance of others in [both] the personal and professional realms are the key learnings I am bringing with me into 2021.

We can’t say for sure what 2021 will continue “surprising” us with, but I’m confident the lessons learned in 2020 will resonate in this 2021 (and hopefully beyond!).

What are you focusing on in 2021?

After a year of uncertainty, I have decided to focus on what I think I can control: being conscious of my thinking and choosing to behave in the way that would be more appropriate for me and most importantly, for those around me.  

We have been shown last year that life is short and precious, so I have taken some time to myself when this year commenced to think about what I really wanted for my life and how I will try to achieve it.  I think that when we write things down, it makes them real and it makes it easier to achieve them.

As an example, I have my vision detailed out by each aspect of my life – my personal & family life, my career and personal interests and passions. In each of these areas, I have a nice (and hopefully achievable) description of what I want 2021 to look like for me, and this is what I am trying to focus on every day.

How are you rising to the challenges found in the new year and what do you hope to accomplish?

I am trying to be stronger than ever [because] at the very end of the day, changing a year is only changing a number, reality stays. So we need to keep focused on trying to achieve what we really want for ourselves. If I had to detail some of the personal goals that I am hoping to accomplish I would say:

  •  Find the ‘’Silver Lining” – try to look for the good.
  •  Decide what I stand for, advocate to make myself and others heard.
  • Take time for myself, self-care prioritization is really important. Balance my work/personal life.
  • Don’t take things personally.
  • Celebrate everybody’s achievements and support others. We need to stop bringing other people down and criticizing others.
  • Don’t take anything for granted.
  • Never ever stop learning.

To learn more about #IWD2021, read International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge.

This entry was posted in EHSQ, Health & Safety Management and tagged , by Sandy Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Director of Global Content and Brand for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has been the keynote speaker for occupational safety and health conferences.

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