By Women for Women: “Women in Packaging” at Interpack for the First Time

For a diverse industry, for more young talent and better opportunities: interpack is promoting women with its own event during the trade show. Participants can benefit from the experiences of others and make new contacts. interpack will be held from May 4 – 10, 2023 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.

When women exchange ideas with each other, they can benefit themselves and ultimately the entire industry. interpack deliberately brings  women from the international sector together for the trade fair in May. With the title “Women in Packaging”, an event explicitly the women in the industry will be held here for the first time. The program features a panel discussion on stage with top female speakers from all over the world as well as networking opportunities. The event is supported by the WPO – World Packaging Organization – who is contributing its worldwide network. “Women in Packaging” will take place on May 8 at 12:00 pm in the International Lounge located in the administration building. For free registration:

Like many other industries, the packaging and processing industry is predominantly male. Women in leading positions are especially rare. Yet, companies benefit from more diversity, new impulses and different perspectives, not least in regard to the increasing shortage of skilled workers. “Women in Packaging” at interpack draws attention to barriers and focuses on the sector as an attractive place to work.

Role models and inspiration

They are internationally successful, pioneers in their field, marketing experts and founders of companies: At this event, visitors can learn from these success stories, benefit from advice and gain information about trends and developments in the sector. Sharing their experiences are Valentina Aureli, CEO of Aetna Group in Italy, Dr. Afsaneh Nabifar, Group Leader for the global market development of biopolymers at BASF, Australian Nadia Taylor, co-founder and Director tna solutions, Marjo Halonen, Vice President Communications at Metsä Board Corporation in Finland and Gabi Bauer, Head of Marketing & Communications at Uhlmann Pac-Systeme (Germany). The panel will be moderated by Nerida Kelton, Vice President Sustainability & Save Food at the World Packaging Organisation.

Attractivity and Diversity

The event also wants to make it possible for more women to join the processing and packaging sector, and to address young talent. As women are underrepresented in technical jobs as well as in leadership positions, supporting them can play an important role with regard to the shortage of skilled professionals. This includes support such as mentoring programs, image campaigns for the sector, creating equal opportunities and attractive working conditions. The panel discussion will focus on which points are particularly important.

About the speakers:

Nadia Taylor, co-founder and Director at tna solutions Pty Ltd.

Nadia Taylor is the co-founder and Director at tna solutions. After emigrating from Egypt to Australia in the 1960s, in 1982 Nadia Taylor founded the company with her husband and business partner Alf Taylor. Today, tna is a globally leading manufacturer offering integrated solutions for food processing and packaging with more than 40 years of experience in the industry and 14,000 systems installed in more than 120 countries. During the course of her career, Nadia has already received multiple awards and honors. In 2018 she and her husband earned the “Australian Ethnic Business Award”, one of the most sought-after business awards in Australia.

In addition, Nadia has been active for more than 20 years supporting disadvantaged children through the “Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation”. The foundation meanwhile has partnerships with 130 organizations in 39 countries and has influenced the lives of more than 20,000 people.

Dr. Afsaneh Nabifar, Head of Global Market Development Biopolymers, BASF

Dr. Afsaneh Nabifar is the Group Leader for the global market development of biopolymers at BASF, where she manages global public affairs and sustainability measures for the biopolymers sector. She is a trained chemical engineer and holds a PhD in “Polymer Science and Engineering” from the University of Waterloo in Canada. Afsaneh joined BASF in 2012, where she held different positions in the areas of research and development, market and business development for different BASF business areas which supply materials to the packaging industry. Aside from her work for several associations for plastic and paper packaging like EUROPEN, CEFLEX and 4evergreen, Afsaneh is a board member of the European Bioplastic Association (EUBP) and the British Bio-based and Biodegradable Industry Association (BBIA).

Valentina Aureli, CEO of Aetna Group

Valentina Aureli is the CEO of Aetna Group, one of the world’s leading companies in packaging with more than 1,800 employees and active in more than 120 countries. In the past 20 years, she has led the company towards constant growth at the global level with their main brands Robopac and Ocme. The global growth targets were achieved organically as well as by several strategic acquisitions in Italy and abroad. The group’s production today consists of 10 international factories: six in the Italian Packaging Valley and one each in the USA, Brazil, China and Germany. Before, Valentina Aureli completed her studies at the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan and gained professional experience in the international finance sector at Rothschild Banking.

Marjo Halonen, VP Communications Metsä Board

Marjo Halonen has been the Vice President Communications at Metsä Board Corporation in Finland since 2017. She is responsible for marketing and global business communications. Her vision is to support companies building their own brand identity and to foster active participation by stakeholders. Her passion is the growing importance of sustainable materials, in order to drive the shift towards a circular economy. Before joining Metsä Board, she held different positions within the communication management at Outokumpu, the world’s leading manufacturer of stainless steel. Previously, she was head of the PR and communications department of the optical chain store Specsavers in Finland. She has a Master of Science degree in economics and business.

Gabi Bauer, Head of Marketing & Communication Uhlmann Pac-Systeme

Gabi Bauer is Head of Marketing & Communication at Uhlmann Pac-Systeme, the leading system supplier for packaging pharmaceuticals with 19 companies and 2,600 employees worldwide. As a communicator with a gift for organization and an agile mindset, she is responsible for the global marketing, communication and PR strategy as well as for adaptations to each national market and the entire business area’s digital transformation. Previously, she headed Marketing and Communication at GEZE, the world’s leading supplier of solutions for windows and doors, and was in the same position at IBM, the world’s leading supplier of information technology. The trained hotel manager holds a diploma in business economics and has more than 30 years of experience across widely different industries, as well as in the hotel sector and consulting.

About the moderator

Nerida Kelton is the Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Packaging and the Vice President Sustainability & Save Food for the WPO. She has worked in the Packaging industry for over 25 years and is passionate about educating the industry on the important role that packaging plays in minimizing Food Waste and how designing Save Food Packaging can make a difference. As an active lecturer and trainer in the AIP educational portfolio Nerida is committed to educate and train packaging professionals in the importance of sustainable and circular packaging design and recognizing best practice in this area. Nerida is a Member of the International Packaging Press Organisation (IPPO) and the first female to have ever received Life Membership to the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia.

For information on visiting or exhibiting at interpack 2023, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America; Telephone: (312) 781-5180; E-mail:; Visit and; for the online interpack magazine:

For hotel and travel information, contact TTI Travel, Inc. at (866) 674-3476; Fax: (212) 674-3477; E-mail:

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