Mothers are known for their wisdom, so it’s no surprise some of the best professional advice Greishma Singh ever received was from her mum.

She told her daughter, now a Brand Manager at Coca-Cola, to forget about other people and their decisions. Instead, the only person she should ever compete with is herself. 

It turned out to be good advice for Greishma, who recently marked her fourth anniversary at Coca-Cola North Sydney headquarters. She loves her life in Sydney, thanks to her rewarding job, the friendly locals, the city’s obsession with food, and the “ridiculously good” weather.

Moving to a new country for work often means settling into a new way of life. For Greishma this required an adjustment Australia’s independent lifestyle – a world away from her family and support networks in Delhi, India.

One of her colleagues at Coke had a different experience. Lindene Cleary’s move from Sydney to Singapore meant adapting to the different way of working in Asian markets.

“In Australia everyone recognises there are working hours and there are personal hours, but here it’s a lot more blurred,” said Lindene, whose role at Coca-Cola Singapore is Senior IMC Manager and Creative Excellence Lead. 

“I had to figure out how to strike the right balance for myself, to get everything done and meet everyone’s expectations without it taking over my whole life,” she said.   

Taking a role in an international market has been a great learning experience, she said. It’s one she would recommend to any younger female colleagues looking to expand their horizons. “From a personal point of view it’s been an amazing opportunity to see a lot more of the world, and grow professionally from new experiences.”

For Greishma, one of the biggest differences between working in India and Australia is the gender split in the office.  

“In India, especially in the marketing department, women were definitely the minority, whereas here men are a distinct minority,” she said. In Delhi, gender diversity workshops were among the strategies used to help make women comfortable in the workplace.

In Australia, workplace initiatives like Coca-Cola Women’s Linc focus instead on education, said group member Lynette Davis, whose role is Manager of Marketing Strategy and Insights. “Our main focus here is bringing outside ideas in.”

To that end, industry leaders like McDonald’s Australia CEO Catriona Noble are invited to speak at Women’s Linc events.

Coca-Cola will mark International Women’s Day with a special screening of Miss Representation, a documentary examining the portrayal of women in mainstream media. 

At the end of the day, there’s no reason women at Coca-Cola won’t succeed, said Greishma. It’s all about what each woman makes of that opportunity.

“If you come in every day wanting to do a better job than you did yesterday, there’s every reason you’ll succeed,” she said.