Sandra Ruivo grew up in Portugal with a father who owned a mold manufacturing company, so she was raised in the world of molds and learned that teamwork was essential for growth. Ruivo saw that the sector was mostly made up of male engineers and needed to open more doors for strong, female leadership.
As the director and shareholder of Turtle Petals Ltd. and SpeedTurtle Ltd. in Portugal, Ruivo is committed to sustainability by developing products that replace single-use plastics and minimize environmental impact during disposal.
"Ruivo emphasizes the company's focus on sustainable mold making, utilizing home-compostable products that naturally disintegrate without harming the planet or using long-lasting materials. Additionally, their injection branch, Turtle Petals, is dedicated to exploring innovative applications of liquid silicone rubber, a cutting-edge material with exceptional chemical and mechanical properties, often hailed as one of the materials of the future," Ruivo's Women Breaking the Mold survey said.
In 2022, she won second place for a project in an Academy for Women Entrepreneurs-sponsored competition. The same project, GreenPetals home compostable coffee capsules, was one of five products nominated for a 2023 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Award from the Plastics Industry Association.
"GreenPetals products are domestically/home compostable, which guarantee a simple disposal, as it is compostable within organic waste, even in the garden, without needing the traditional existing industrial composting processes. Being 100 percent in bio-based material from local suppliers, it has reduced carbon footprint and [ensures a] sustainable production cycle," Turtle Petals' nomination says on the association's website.
As a company leader, Ruivo "faces the ongoing task of breaking barriers and defying gender biases in a traditionally male-dominated industry."
"However, her responsibilities extend beyond that," her submission said. "She also feels a deep sense of responsibility in addressing the concerns and aspirations of her employees. Sandra understands the importance of keeping her team motivated and fostering a work environment that is unique within the sector. By creating such an environment, she aims to enable personal and professional growth for individuals, allowing them to flourish alongside the company's success. Sandra's commitment to nurturing a supportive and empowering work culture is vital as she strives to inspire her team and foster collective growth in their journey together."