Introducing Our New Country Director!

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May 22, 2018

We’re excited to introduce you to our Country Director, Norette Turimuci! In her role, Norette will build strategic partnerships, oversee our programs, and manage our team in Rwanda to ensure smooth operations and growth. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit for the role – we have really enjoyed getting to know Norette, and we think you will, too. Learn more about her:  

Why did you want to work with women and girls?

I was very fortunate as a kid because my parents encouraged me to do well in school. I have two sisters and two brothers and I never felt like the expectations for the girls in my family were lower than the boys.

But when I started working, I saw the playing field wasn’t really level. The male candidates always seemed to get higher level positions in the organizations that I worked in. I also realized a lot of the networking opportunities that allowed people to advance in their career weren’t set up for working moms, for example golf tournaments or drinks after work. I witnessed for the first time what gender inequality looked like in the workforce and I strongly felt that it was unfair.

But it wasn’t until I became a mom and had my first child, who is a little girl, that I felt the responsibility to be part of the solution in making sure that girls have a fair chance to fulfill their full potential. That’s why I love the work that I’m doing now with Resonate. I’m trying to make that change in the region that I’m from, in East Africa.

What is your favorite thing about working at Resonate?

My favorite thing about working at Resonate is the team that I work with. I’m very inspired by the women and the men I work with who are very passionate about and very good at what they do.

This is the first time where I feel like I work with a team that truly lives their values. There’s a sense of belonging and a type of support that reminds me of how important it is to have a team culture that aligns with the work you’re trying to do. Being able to have such a supportive team that allows me to do my work in the best way that I know how to makes my life easier. I couldn’t ask for a better team. We also drink lots of tea and eat lots of cake. I love it.

What is the biggest challenge and what is the biggest opportunity in your role?

The biggest challenge in my role is trying to undo centuries of inequality and societal norms. It’s a challenge to not undo these norms in a responsible way. You don’t want to flip the script and not give people a new script to work with. I’m a mom of a girl but I’m also a mom of two boys. So as much as we try to empower women, I’m very conscious of the fact that we need to make sure that boys and men are ready to live in a world of gender equity and that the conversation is being driven in a responsible way.

The biggest opportunity is that the conversation around gender equality is focal in a lot of sectors on a global level right now. As I approach new partners, emphasizing the importance of building girls’ self-esteem and building the next generation of women who are empowered to advocate for themselves and become whomever they want to be, that conversation is easier when people are already aware of the issues and the conversation has already been started.

Who inspires you?

It was not that long ago that if you were a mom at work you couldn’t really talk about your personal life. I’m inspired by women leaders who are in the spotlight, who talk about the challenges of being working moms, and inspire the rest of us.

The more women acknowledge that they can be both and still achieve their goals makes it better for the rest of us. For example, the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, has spoken about how you can’t have it all because you can’t be 100% in two places. But, you can do your best and there are ways to do the best you can do. You can be the CEO of PepsiCo and be a mom and be able to manage both. There’s also Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand who is pregnant while in office. The fact that she shared it publicly and was proud of it, those are the things that liberate the rest of us, to feel free to do something like that and not feel guilty about creating the next generation of humans.

What is something that you want people to know about you?

I love to connect with people. I love to get to know people, to hear about their personal stories, to hear about the challenges they’ve gone through, and what they’ve learned from it. So if you ever run into me somewhere in the street or at the store - talk to me! I’m a natural optimist and as much as life can be challenging and tough, I like to see the good in people and I like to learn from them. I’m a better person when I get to connect with others, when I get to learn and feel like I’m part of something bigger than me.

Megan Madeira