International Human Rights and Social Impact Specialist,
Founder – ARSIC Social Impact Consulting
Dr. Anita Ramsak was fortunate enough to discover what are her interest and passion and where to focus her energy quite early in her career. This allowed her to carve a very committed and dedicated path in which every decision she took was linked to a dedicated goal and purpose – a belief that we as a society can do much more to co-create a world that is kinder, more compassionate and inclusive for all.
Today, she has emerged as an International Human Rights and Social Impact Specialist as well as the Founder of a purpose-driven social impact consultancy group – ARSIC Social Impact Consulting, that works across public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to advance collective social impact, human rights and gender equality.
Anita’s multidisciplinary academic perspective on global social challenges can be traced to her PhD in Social Sciences at the age of 26, Masters in Human Rights, Bachelor in Communication Sciences, and Diploma in International Development from different universities across Europe.
She has been working on public social challenges across four continents and more than 25 countries while cooperating with a number of leading social impact institutions, ranging from the United Nations to governments, non-for-profits, and community groups.
Currently, she spread between Indonesia and Kenya, and while dedicating an extensive period for her professional life, now she is on a learning curve to find the right balance between professional and family life. “When your work is also your passion and purpose, the lines become easily blurred. For the last few years, I intentionally placed more focus on my professional life while setting up the consultancy group and now looking for teams. However now I am slowly coming back to finding more balance and sharing more time between work, my loved ones and other passions I pursue.” Now, she would place more intentional efforts to sneak out into the ocean to surf, spend time in the mountain to snowboard, or join one of those all night Tango milongas.
The journey of a ‘diversity professional’ working in global space can be one wrought with hurdles. Speaking about some of noticed challenges as women leader, Anita says, “I think the main barrier in general is that as women, we are not being raised in the spirit and with an ambition to be leaders and to see and expose ourselves as such. Consequently, others don’t see us as such. This is quite reflective in my situation, where me being a solo female founder of a global company is still received with expressions of surprise and wonder, while I feel this would be considered something less surprising if I were a man. This is then coupled with structural barriers, which are not supporting women who have both family desires and leadership ambitions, and often require us to compromise in one field or another. Most often, this is the professional field.”
Anita feels that there is an increasing understanding that successful companies are those with a well-defined organisational culture that not only supports but takes active steps to encourage women’s leadership and meaningful contributions. Yet, there are extensive efforts needed to create a working environment which encourages women while ensuring that necessary mechanisms are in place to allow for balancing life and professional work, and prevent women from taking double burden – new responsibilities in professional roles, while continuing to be responsible for all the unpaid care and other work, traditionally assigned to women in our society.
For Anita, leading with kindness, compassion, grace and tapping into her feminine power is the strategy and leadership style she wants to adopt and promote. Thanks to her dedication to the highest quality of work, she’s well on her way to achieving it.
Telling us what inspires her and keeps her going, she says, “People such as Wangari Maathai and Nelson Mandela, who engaged in co-creating and co-shaping a different world while speaking against injustices, are among those whose work and biographies I grew up with.
I am also inspired by leaders, particularly those in the corporate world, who consciously strive to integrate social impact and human rights in their business module and actively seek to contribute to a world that brings benefits not only to the company and its shareholders but also strive to add a value to communities they work in beyond employment opportunities and works toward protecting our nature and environment.
Lastly, I keep on being inspired by so many people I meet during my work, particularly women, some of whom live in the most vulnerable and unimaginable situations yet continue to showcase so much resilience, strength, compassion and care for others. Or by communities that step together to help each other in the most adverse of situations. It reminds me how great the human spirit is and how much the world could benefit if all this potential can be directed into co-creation and building of the world we want to live in and not only day-to-day survival.”