Before joining Lithuanian Post as CEO in 2018, Asta Sungailienė spent most of her career in the financial industry. She has worked in many areas of the banking sector, including corporate, private and investment, and has more than 20 years of experience in management positions.
“There are a number of reasons why I decided to join the postal sector,” she says. “First, it has a wide coverage and is very important at the national level. Second, I like the challenges and opportunities available. The main reason, however, was my desire to make the changes that Lithuanian Post really needed.”
Sungailienė had a clear vision for the post, which involved improving operations and hiring the right skills and knowledge to implement them. To date, one of her proudest achievements has been the implementation of the Mobile Postman Service, which sees postal workers in rural areas equipped with modern technology enabling them to perform all the functions of a post office. “I am particularly happy about this project because it increased service quality for our customers, improved working conditions for our employees and at the end, even the biggest sceptics agreed that this was a positive change,” she explains.
Sungailienė believes that the postal sector remains a male dominant industry and therefore more still needs to be done to encourage gender equality. “One memory which illustrates this male dominance is from a postal conference where the organizers wanted to take a group picture of all the CEOs,” she explains. “As I was walking towards my fellow CEOs one of the coordinators told me that only CEOs should be present, and he was quite surprised to find out that I was in fact the CEO of Lithuanian Post. If I remember correctly, there were only two women among many men in that picture.
“I am happy to see that there are now more and more women leaders in the postal sector and that the UPU is raising the topic of gender equality at a global level. From my experience in this sector, I am certain that both men and women can lead equally well. I have noticed, however, that women tend to be more modest and underestimate their abilities. Women should believe in themselves – if you can achieve something great in one sector, then you can achieve in any other sector,” Sungailienė adds.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Union Postale.