Sarita Johnston, Grit Board Member and Director, Business Planning at Capstone Business Advisors Limited
Please tell us a little about yourself and your role as Director, Business Planning at Capstone Business Advisors Limited.
My current position is Director., Business Planning at Capstone Business Advisors Limited. I am responsible for developing and implementing strategic business plans to achieve the goals and objectives of Capstones clients.
My primary role is to lead the planning and execution of the company’s business strategies, as well as to identify and evaluate new business opportunities. I guide the growth and success of companies by developing, supporting, and executing strategic plans, identifying new business opportunities, and monitoring and managing financial performance.
Previously, I worked as a Senior Business Manager with DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion and was Business Development Manager Corporate Services for Sodexo Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Prior to this I worked in various positions in the Government Industrial Development Agency, Enterprise Ireland.
My experience spans multi-sectors from Lifesciences, Industrial, Cleantech, Software & Technology and manufacturing services.
In my previous role with Enterprise Ireland, I was Manager of High Potential start up sector, my role was to lead a team to find, encourage and develop entrepreneurs and start-ups to scale through international sales.
I was also Manager of Female Entrepreneurship for 3 years and managed Enterprise Ireland’s initiatives to support and develop investment in female founded companies.
I have obtained a Bachelor OF Business (Hons) Degree and an MBS from Liverpool John Moore’s University, and I am currently taking a Post Graduate diploma in Financial Management in Athlone Technological College.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you and why is it so important?
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is about recognising and valuing differences and ensuring everyone has equal opportunities to thrive. This means creating a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion as strengths along with fostering a sense of belonging for all individuals.
In my opinion, when people feel included and valued, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, which will contribute to their overall performance and productivity in work.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
One significant barrier to female leadership is gender bias and discrimination.
Another barrier is the lack of work-life balance, as women we are often expected to take on more caregiving responsibilities, which can make it difficult to balance work and personal life.
This can make it more challenging for women to take on leadership roles.
How can we calculate the positive impacts of having more women in an organisation?
There are many positive impacts of having woman in an organisation such as, increased innovation and higher performing teams.
Research findings show that diverse teams, including gender diversity tend to me more innovative leading to new ideas, products and business models that can support companies to grow and scale.
Teams that have a diverse mix of skills, experiences and perspectives are shown to have better performance indicators.
Companies that prioritise gender diversity tend to have a more inclusive and supportive culture which in turn improves employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
As a valued Grit board member and summit moderator, what do you hope speakers and attendees will get from attending the day?
I hope that attending events focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion can be an opportunity for speakers and attendees to learn from each other, share ideas and best practices, and build networks and connections.
In relation to the speakers, sharing their experiences, expertise, and insights can help inspire and empower others.
It can also be an opportunity for them to learn from attendees and gain new perspectives and ideas that they can bring back to their own work.
Likewise, for attendees, events focused on DEI can be a chance to gain knowledge and skills that can support them in their personal and professional lives. In additions, events such as this can be an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people and develop relationships.