HERStory | Michelle Finley
Meet Michelle - Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Roquette Canada.
Michelle Finley is a veteran government and public affairs professional with over 17 years of experience in stakeholder engagement within diverse sectors including not-for-profit, government and private industry.
She has been with Roquette since early 2020 as their first Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Canada. Advocating for Roquette and the entire plant-based protein sector in Canada has become a passion for Michelle, and she has gone all in on seeking new connections to accelerate expansion of the country’s domestic pulse processing capacity.
Michelle was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Canadian Pulse and Special Crops Trade Association and serves on the Communications and Marketing Committee with Plant-Based Foods Canada. She is also a member of the Province of Manitoba’s Project ASPIRE Water and Wastewater Roundtable (part of the Manitoba Protein Advantage) and represents Roquette as an industry advisor for Food & Beverage Manitoba’s newly created Economic Advisory Table.
Q: How does your company support diversity and inclusion?
Roquette puts people at the heart of their corporate strategy and is focused on providing a safe and inclusive work environment. The group sets goals related to equality in the workplace and to support these targets, they have invested in strong benefit plans, safe workplace training, a zero-tolerance approach for harassment, and in programming that empowers employees to chart their own career path with the company.
Q: What gains have you seen over your career in terms of women working in the manufacturing industry? What’s changed?
I’m noticing more women in leadership roles and at the boardroom table. I believe this is because the sector is being pushed by the growing demand for open and transparent ESG (environmental, social, and governance) strategies. ESG work requires organizations to dig deep and have hard conversations about workplace culture, inequality, and address the gaps in recruitment and retention policies that don’t support diversity.
Q: What advice would you have for your younger self?
Be your own champion and document your wins! There is nothing wrong with asking your leaders for more opportunity and bigger roles, but you need to be ready to show why you’re ready to move up. Take 15 minutes a week to send yourself an email with a few notes about what you accomplished. Your future self (and your leaders) will thank you!
Roquette is a family-owned global leader in plant-based ingredients, a pioneer of plant proteins and a leading provider of pharmaceutical excipients. Founded in 1933, the company currently operates in more than 100 countries, has a turnover of 3.9 billion euros, and employs more than 8,000 people worldwide.
Life and nature have been our sources of inspiration for decades. All our raw materials are of natural origin. From them, we enable a whole new plant protein cuisine; we offer pharmaceutical solutions that play a key role in medical treatments; and we develop innovative ingredients for food, nutrition and health markets.