*Portions of this article were taken from a previous publication written by Sarah Kelsey and published to the Women of Influence and Ricoh Canada blogs.
When it comes to making change happen within your business – you can do a lot with technology but even more with people. That’s why we’re so proud of our own people and their stories because each of them has helped our own business change for the better.
With spring in the air, optimism, hope, and change are also on the horizon. And as small businesses across Canada continue to look for ways to redefine work this spring – we at Ricoh, have solutions that can help. But more importantly, we have people who can help because they make change happen for themselves and for our customers. We call them ChangeMakers.
We know workplace technologies will make your business better – but we also know it takes motivated people to help you change. We have both.
Meet: Barbara Marinoni
“My father always told us you get out of life what you put into it,” she says. “He instilled a strong work ethic in us. We knew we had to push ourselves, especially when faced with problems.”
For Barbara, that meant challenging herself to take on roles in industries that were, in many ways, difficult for women. She started her career as a Quality Manager for a 3rd Party Service Provider to a leading automotive manufacturer in the ‘90s and eventually worked her way up to the highly regarded position of Operations Manager. At the time, Barbara’s rise was almost unheard of given the gender inequality that often existed in the automotive industry.
“I had to fight my way through to keep growing my career.”
She worked long days, faced nasty comments from jealous colleagues, and struggled to be respected. “It was a hard, difficult environment to work in, but I knew I could learn and grow from my experiences.” And while she overcame professional obstacles, she struggled personally – turning to food as a way of coping emotionally. At one point she weighed 300 pounds, all because she had started to internalize the discrimination she faced.
After one particularly cruel incident at work, Barbara decided enough was enough, “I left and made a promise to myself to change a few things.”
She started with her career, and in 2012 she landed a role at Ricoh a “dream company.” Today, as National Director, Supply Chain, she says Ricoh has given her opportunities many other companies would not: the ability to grow teams, to learn from each other, and to change how business is done.
“We at Ricoh put more into the people than the process, because if you put more into the people the processes will follow,” Barbara says. One of the Ricoh values is GEMBA – a Japanese word that means ‘the place where things happen; where work gets done and where value is created,’ for Barbara this means seeing “that we all have the ability to drive positive change, whether in ourselves or in society at large.”
Following the change in her career, Barbara worked on positive change within herself – she focused on her health, lost the weight, and started training for half-and then full-marathons (of which she has now completed 8). She continued to push her limits and in 2016 competed in her first triathlon. Today, she’s an Ironman triathlete and an inspiring, fearless leader for the Ricoh team.
We hope Barbara’s story can be a reminder that while technology can help you redefine the way you work – it’s your people who really are your greatest asset.
If you’re looking for a partner who can help you on your path to change, for better – we have the technology that can help but more importantly, we have inspiring people who can help too.
To learn more about Ricoh’s everyday solutions for small businesses go to services.ricoh.ca
And for more stories about our ChangeMakers check out our blog.