Mara Rodriguez, 29

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When Mara Rodriguez considered employers after college, her grandfather's career with Procter & Gamble Co. in pre-Fidel Cuba attracted her to the company. But Ms. Rodriguez's rapid ascent, now elevating her to a global marketing job, shows it's not her grandfather's P&G.

Ms. Rodriguez, 29, next month will move up to associate marketing director-global leading edge product line for Pampers, managing premium new-product and marketing initiatives for a $6 billion juggernaut.

"Mara is an excellent marketing and business thinker," says her boss, Kirk Perry, VP-North American baby and toddler care.

After earlier P&G assignments targeting the Latino market, Ms. Rodriguez notes: "With Hispanics, there aren't databases galore. They're not in one central location, and they're very hard to reach." Finding ways to reach them anyway helped her hone skills for subsequent jobs.

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