On the eve of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the contributions women make to Ukraine’s economic development

AGRI-Ukraine Export Logistics Support
07 March 2024
“Like-minded People Inspire Me” 

Olha Vakarchuk is the Financial Director of a group of agricultural companies in the central part of Ukraine. Mrs. Vakarchuk is proud of her decision, nearly 20 years ago, to build her career in the agricultural field. She is a financier and economist by trade, schooled at the Vadym Hetman National University of Economics, and rose from Financial Controller to Director, serving at various companies. 

Shortly before the start of Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine, she received an offer to move from her Kyiv office to work in a village in Cherkasy Oblast. She made the brave decision and relocated to a small cozy village. 

“Managing a company from the office is one thing, but being in a village where you see farmers sowing wheat, grinding flour, or constructing an elevator outside your window is a whole new experience. My worldview has expanded”, shares Mrs. Vakarchuk, “Here, everything is in the palm of your hand, you feel and see everything deeply.” 

Ms. Vakarchuk explains how agriculture is not only about growing grains, but also about grain processing and logistics; it is a much broader field where many can attain professional fulfillment. In addition to financial reporting, Olha is responsible for communicating with Ukrainian and foreign partners, implementing new projects, and attracting assistance. 

“It doesn’t matter the gender of those around you. What is important is if they perform their work well, strive for development, and remain humane. When there are like-minded people with whom you look in the same direction, it is inspirational. This is precisely what motivates me to continue working in agriculture. Now, during the war, we are grateful to our partners for their support. Last year, our company received a grain transportation trailer and two generators from USAID Economic Resilience Activity. This affords us stability and enables us to continue to grow grain during the war.” 

“The Ability to Influence Strategic Decisions Keep Me Going”  

Olena Krysenko has been working at IMK agricultural holding since their inception. Olena grew from a Sales Manager to a Commercial Director within the last 17 years. Currently, she is responsible for developing and implementing sales and procurement strategies, negotiating with key customers, and analyzing market trends.  

Ms. Krysenko explains how during wartime the two main challenges for agricultural businesses are changes in the price and demand for grain, which affects the company’s profitability, and the difficult access to sales markets. These factors force business entities to look for new logistics solutions and export routes. It’s these clever innovations, responding to challenges, that motivate me. 

“What I love most about my job is the opportunity to influence the company’s strategic decisions” says Olena. “In this difficult time for all of us, I am inspired by innovation and the introduction of new technologies in the agricultural sector, and by the fact that I contribute to the development of agricultural production, as well as the potential for expanding sales markets and developing new commercial activities” she continued.