Paula Lleras

International Women’s Day – Paula Lleras

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Potatoes New Zealand connects with various women in the industry as part of International Women’s Day to discover the amazing work they do in the sector.

Name: Paula Lleras
Company: Potatoes New Zealand

What do you do in your current role?

  • Administrate the seed potato certification database (BELIS) and manage annual data entry, reports, newsletter, meetings.
  • Seed inspector, carrying out field and tuber inspections of seed potatoes.
  • Assist with Potatoes New Zealand Research and Development projects
  • Assist Technical Manager

What do you particularly enjoy about it? 

I love working alongside growers, the work environment (outdoor and indoor) and the continuous learning.

How long have you been with your organisation?

I started with Potatoes New Zealand in March 2019.

How do you find working in the potato industry/primary industries? 

I really enjoy belonging to an industry that supplies food to the people. Being able to spend time out in the fields, working directly with potato crops on farms, and assisting growers with various tasks is incredibly fulfilling. At the same time, it’s so rewarding to see all the hard work that goes into making sure our industry is successful and environmentally friendly.

What or who inspires you? 

I’m the kind of person who gets inspired and learns from all kinds of people, places, and situations, so it’s tough to name just one who’s influenced me the most.

I am also someone who loves learning, so I’m a big fan of absorbing knowledge from podcasts, books, articles, and social media.

What do you wish you had known before you started in your profession?

Taking action and trying it out is the most effective way to learn from firsthand experience. Connect with other people who are already engaged in the activities you aspire to pursue. Reach out to them and ask if you can have a conversation or visit them so you can check out how they’ve set things up.

What would you tell another woman interested in working in the potato industry/primary industries?

  • You don’t need to know everything; you just need to know where to start looking.
  • Be yourself; everyone has something unique to offer.
  • If the space is there, take it. Speak up, share your perspective, never forget that what you think and do counts.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality. Find out more at