Thu | Sep 28, 2023

National Rums of Jamaica’s Martha Miller is proof of merit-based inclusion

Published:Monday | March 6, 2023 | 12:45 AM

Martha Miller, chief executive officer of National Rums of Jamaica.
Martha Miller, chief executive officer of National Rums of Jamaica.

According to the global research forum Catalyst 2021 Women In Management study, women accounted for 31 per cent of senior-management roles, while 26 per cent of CEOs and managing directors were women.

Martha Miller, CEO of National Rums of Jamaica (NRJ), is among the favoured few.

Miller’s intellect and professionalism have led to high-level roles in a variety of fields, including consulting, business analysis, business management, advertising, finance, and organisational management.

Miller joined NRJ first as chief financial officer and company secretary in 2013 before being appointed as deputy CEO in March 2020.

Less than a year later, she broke the proverbial glass ceiling – becoming the first woman, both at the company and in the Jamaican rum industry, to hold the title of CEO. Miller took this appointment with the same modesty and drive that have been the hallmark of her career.

Within a year after her appointment, this CEO launched Long Pond, the first brand of the famed Long Pond Distillery, which is part of NRJ.

It was a triumph not just for her as CEO but for the entire organisation, which had watched the distillery burn down in 2018, to rise again and continue to offer the world a unique taste of Jamaica.

Miller has also continued on the quest to solidify the role of NRJ in cane farming, gaining a firm grasp on managing and repurposing waste, and has expanded the ideals of the company and its social responsibility.

She is also the fourth vice president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.

Millers sees herself as a calculated risk taker ready to grasp any opportunity, but she acknowledges the challenge women face with career mobility.

According to her, “Embracing equity is not just about breaking the glass ceiling – It’s about facilitating the inclusion and mobility that is necessary for success. We are beyond the point of recognising everyone as equals, instead we should be considering the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities and adapting services and policies according to these differences.”

In 2022, Miller was one of six CEOs in the international rum industry that was honoured as The Ultimate and The Most Admirable CEO based on their meritorious contributions to society in 2022.

“As the first female CEO in the local rum industry, NRJ is a staple in acknowledging merit-based inclusion and taking affirmative action in providing opportunities for advancement. And now at the helm, I am committed to implementing strategies that consider every single member of my team.”

This, she noted, also includes investing and building stronger communication internally, identifying gaps and creating opportunities for advancement via targeted training and development, and promoting work-life balance and well-being for all employees.