Gloriose! Gloriose! Gloriose! No, it is not the name of a cantata, nor is it something I cheer at an Atlanta United soccer match. Gloriose is the name of our Ruli Mountain Coffee Washing Station Manager.
Over a decade ago, Gloriose applied for a job as our production manager, a role that, historically, women in Rwanda do not do. Manu Gatare, our Rwanda Country Director, wasn't sure about a woman in the role and said, “Jonathan, there is a woman here who has applied for the job, but it is a tough job because it means staying up all night, dealing with men, receiving the coffee cherries from the farmers, and handing it over to the wash station for depulping and processing.”
I told him that hiring her would be one of the best decisions he ever made.
And it was.
Gloriose grew in her role as production manager and became known as someone who was serious about her work. She demonstrated great organizational skills, invested in her coworkers and developed trusting relationships with the farmers. Gloriose was soon married, had a child, and applied for the role of the Coffee Washing Station Manager.
After an extensive interview process, she was awarded the position—making her the first female manager of a coffee washing station in Rwanda. Since then, she's continued to approach her role with precision and pride.
What's really exciting though is the way that Gloriose is inspiring her community. When I was in Rwanda a few years ago, I spoke to a young girl and asked her what I typically ask the children, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
She said, “When I grow up I want to manage a coffee washing station like Gloriose!”
Gloriose, thank you for being a great leader and having the courage to apply for a job that women do not typically fulfill. Thank you for being such a faithful team member as we continue our purpose to: Craft Beautiful Coffee, Create Purposeful Work, and Cultivate Flourishing Community.
Thank you for being a great example to the next generation of women in Ruli Mountain, Rwanda, and beyond.
- Jonathan D. Golden, Founder