When women rise, we all rise! Malou Caluza’s story is incredible and highly inspiring: from joining QNET company as a Junior Customer Service Officer, facing an initial discrimination that could have truncated her professional path, innovating within a challenging industry and bracing the odds to establishing processes, systems and standard operating procedure that would guide the company’s global expansion and operation, beating breast cancer with faith, family and resilience and rising to lead 26-year-old QNET, one of the global leaders in the direct selling industry.

Her ‘story to glory’ strikingly qualifies to be an inspirational global corporate leadership story of a kind.

In her ever-humble, but professionally tenacious disposition, she was quick to admit: “None of these would not have been possible, but for God, my family and the guidance, mentorship and benevolence of our founders Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark, who provided the enabling environment. They established and supported corporate policies that ensure diversity, gender equality and women empowerment at QNET.”

Malou Caluza: Her profile and career at QNET

Malou Caluza is the Deputy Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer at QNET, a prominent lifestyle and wellness company that uses a direct selling business model to offer a wide selection of exclusive products that enable individuals to embrace a healthier, more balanced life. The award-winning global corporate executive Malou Caluza, has been honoured with many notable awards including: 2021 Female CEO of the Year in the Consumer Products Category in the 9th annual edition of the CEO World Awards, 2022 Woman CEO in Direct Selling by Social Selling News Bronze Award by Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, Gold Award by The Globee® Awards, among others.

She was also featured in “Asia’s 15 Over 50” publication that celebrates Asia’s most successful women. Malou is an impact-driven professional and catalyst for positive transformation with an unwavering passion for people, diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and environment.

Malou started her career with QNET in 1999 when she was employed as a Junior Customer Service Officer. Her initial boss, who was the Office Manager discriminated against her nationality and gender, but the ever-supporting hands of both Dato Sri Viyay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark saw her through a time of corporate harshness and discrimination. She has held many portfolios and positions within the company, rising each time to the challenges of the job and delivering in style. She worked as the chief marketing officer, chief of network success, head of operations and business development, network support head, among others.

Surviving Breast Cancer

Malou was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer in 2016. Initially, she was shocked and overwhelmed by the news. Her surgery was scheduled a mere seven days after her diagnosis and she barely had time to process what was happening as the doctors put her through numerous tests before the surgery. “It was scary and nerve-wracking,” she recalled.  

After the lumpectomy surgery, doctors discovered that her lymph node also had cancer cells and they needed to be removed as well.  After the surgeries, the real battle began when her treatment plan started. This included multiple cycles of chemotherapy, target therapy, and radiation therapy. Malou is extremely thankful to God, her support system, including her husband, three sons, family members, friends, bosses, co-workers and even customers of QNET who cheered her on. Now that she has recovered, she looks back with gratitude and determination to do more.

QNET: Championing Gender Equality and Empowerment

QNET is not just known for its exceptional products and services but also for its strong commitment to gender equality and empowerment. At the core of QNET's corporate philosophy is the belief that every individual, regardless of gender, should have equal opportunities to succeed and thrive in the workplace. QNET’s management is made up of 44% females and for its general workforce, there are 47% females from over 50 countries in the world. QNET actively promotes and supports the advancement of women in leadership positions, recognizing the invaluable contributions they make to the company's success. By fostering a culture of respect and equality, QNET has created an environment where both men and women can excel and reach their full potential.

Malou’s blueprint for implementing diversity, equity & inclusion

Asked about how to build a culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, DEI, in organisations, she proffers a panacea: “Companies must realise that it is essential to understand the core principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and embrace best practices in order to create inclusive workplaces and combat inequality. However, implementing DEI can be challenging and requires a strategic approach.”

She continued: “Practice acts of inclusion by promoting everyday behaviors and gestures that invite people and their perspectives into your environment. Identify and acknowledge the DEI influencers in your company by recognize the team members who take initiative to organize events such Women’s Day celebrations. Hold all leaders accountable for DEI by making it a business objective and set concrete targets for all managers. Get strategic support by engaging professionals within the organisation or a consultant to guide you through the process of fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace through genuine and cohesive actions and messaging.  

Always review and recalibrate your hiring process by diversifying your talent pools and focusing on the qualities truly needed for success, rather than a straight-jacketed list of traits and experiences.”

Malou: an inspiration to women around the world

Malou Caluza is a true inspiration in the world of business and women empowerment. From her humble beginnings as a customer service officer, she soared to great heights in her career, breaking barriers and redefining success. Malou's journey is a testament to hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Her drive for excellence and her passion for empowering others set her apart from the rest.

Malou's story is a shining example of what can be achieved through determination, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of one's goals. She is not just a CEO; she is a beacon of hope and inspiration for women everywhere, showing them that they can break through barriers and achieve their dreams. Malou holds regular empowerment sessions to train, motivate and mentor female corporate executives at QNET.

QNET: Next 25 years and beyond

QNET marked its 25th anniversary last year and Malou re-affirmed: “At QNET, our ultimate aim is to use a customer-centric approach to empower and make a positive impact on the lives of people through our exclusive and innovative products, encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion, contributing meaningfully to communities around the world especially in Africa, and safeguarding the planet and its resources for the next generation. In the next 25 years of our existence as a company, we commit to these and more.”

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.