What advice would you give your younger self?
A fundamental part to achieving happiness and effectiveness both inside and out of the workplace is to be passionate about the work you do and working with people you want to be with. Finding a culture that matches your needs will enable you to build meaningful relationships and achieve ambitious goals.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Many people are afraid to take risks because they are afraid to fail. The most rewarding risk I ever took—both personally and professionally—was when I accepted the role as general manager, global e-commerce, of Mondelēz International. Despite e-commerce booming in China, at the time it was still nascent in the United States and, while I knew our brand and business operations, I had limited knowledge of e-commerce. Working alongside a team of global experts, we leaned into each other’s strengths and willingness to learn to create new capabilities from the ground up and build a framework that would serve future growth across the entire organization. This experience was extremely formative to me as a leader and created a willingness to inspire and drive disruption.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing and why?
I am incredibly passionate about the work that I do, which stems from my love and fascination with food. It connects us, nourishes, delights and fulfills so many needs. If I wasn’t doing my current job, I would be doing something with food focused on creating, experimenting and pushing the boundaries of food.
What should the industry do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Inclusion and diversity are key elements of my personal values and an important driver of our business. I have sponsored and built meaningful relationships and mentored diverse women throughout my career. I remember several conversations where I would ask about individual strengths, aspirations and development areas. I often heard feedback like, “I have been told to just keep doing what I’m doing” or “I have been told to smile more and speak up.” This is not helpful and it frustrates and stalls development.
We have to celebrate strengths. I believe that every single leader should be held accountable for giving support, coaching and feedback to employees that ultimately helps them thrive and the company grow. At Campbell Soup Co. I recently became the Snacks division sponsor for the company’s Black Resource Group, which focuses on attracting, retaining and empowering Black talent to advance Campbell’s high-performance organization. I am really looking forward to learning more together.