I graduated from graduate school in 1982. I thought the key to my future was about keeping my head down and working hard.
It was. But, in retrospect, it was about much more, too. (more…)
About 30 years ago I met the person who would inspire me in so many ways, and especially in my understanding of gratitude. He had been graced with a second chance before we met and carried with him a constant appreciation for that and for those who helped him along his sometimes difficult journey. (more…)
This is my daughter and brand new grandson. What beautiful creatures. I want them to have joy and love and fulfillment in their lives. And, now that I am old enough to be a grandmother twice over, I especially want them to have health. I know how important – and fleeting – health can be. (more…)
It’s been a big year for gender equality ― from the #MeToo movement to the broader recognition of just how far we need to go, to the tangible actions that are (finally) gaining momentum in workplaces.
Before we pat ourselves on the back for recognizing the problem, however, it’s important to understand that now is the time for the hard work of turning the desire to change into actual change.
A few years ago, I overheard my daughter talking to a friend about work-life balance. She marveled that even as her mother worked a corporate job, she had been to every one of her volleyball games. (more…)
In honor of #InternationalWomen’sDay on March 8, I’d like to share the question I get most often as a female leader. (more…)
This week, I used an iPhone app to summon a car. The driver arrived a few minutes later and greeted me by name. He delivered a friendly, comfortable ride to my destination. (more…)
Almost exactly five years ago I learned a leadership lesson I never wanted to learn. But as I look back on this anniversary and one that makes Valentine’s Day bittersweet, I appreciate that I grew personally and professionally in a way I might never have otherwise. (more…)
This past year, I did the unthinkable and followed through on a resolution. And, by following through, my CrossFit journey didn’t just help me find my abs; it also gave me a crash course in business endurance and career success.
The start was all mental obstacles. My career had forced me to ruthlessly prioritize my time. I fit in exercise, but it was more of a squeeze-in than a priority. (more…)
Earlier this month, in the middle of another stretch of tough headlines for women to digest, an interviewer posed to me a question:
What can women do to become CEOs and succeed in corporate life? (more…)
I just turned 60. It’s an interesting age. (more…)
Gender equity in business should not be an issue.
This country has more women with secondary degrees than men. Close to half of the labor force is female. In my thirty-year career, I’ve witnessed a sea change in attitude about women in the workplace.
And yet, it is a problem. Glass ceilings are real. We can break them, but first we have to ask ourselves why they exist and why companies motivated to support change end up with lopsided leadership. (more…)
The natural disasters this hurricane season are leaving damage, both physical and emotional. Even as those most affected mourn and rebuild, they are bracing for more storms.
Amid the chaos, as our teams have been among the thousands in danger along each of the storms’ paths, I feel deep gratitude. Hurricane Harvey, Irma and their kin may be monsters, but they are no match for the human spirit. (more…)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) fulfills a critical mission: ending the childhood obesity crisis. After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but it is still alarmingly high compared to a generation ago. The CDC reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children (defined as those under 10 years of age) and quadrupled in adolescents (10 to 19 years of age) in the past 30 years. Among young children 2 to 5, rates more than doubled between the mid-1970s and 2000s before beginning a decline. If we don’t address this epidemic now, we are sending millions of children down a perilous path towards a lifetime of chronic diseases. PHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with the private sector to help end this crisis. (more…)
We all know the sayings: “Safety first”, “better safe than sorry”, “safety begins with you.” These phrases are everywhere, on posters, in emails—so ubiquitous, in fact, that we start to tune them out. We know that safety is important, but it’s easy to take it for granted.
Taking safety for granted, however, is the last thing we want to do. There’s nothing more important than our wellbeing, of course. But did you know that companies that invest in safety actually save money? (more…)
The workforce, in the U.S. and globally, is evolving at an unprecedented rate. With the addition of Generation Z, it will soon be five generations strong. While having access to such an extensive pool of talent is an exciting prospect for many employers, managing employees across such a broad range of demographics will require leadership to flex their styles and meet employees where they are. (more…)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) was established in 2010 to tackle the childhood obesity crisis by transforming the marketplace and our communities. PHA works with the private sector to make healthier choices easier for busy parents and families. The group ensures that commitments made are commitments kept, by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress its partners are making. In choosing partners, PHA works with companies that want to make meaningful commitments, and that have the breadth and depth to positively impact the quality of life of both children and their families on a daily basis.
What accounts for the difference between companies that can hit the ball out of the park and those that are merely staying in the game? According to Swiss research and consulting firm Egon Zehnder a handful of companies enjoy superior growth and profitability because they maintain a high performance culture that drives vision, purpose, action and results. Encouraging an organizational culture to thrive begins with openness, honesty and transparency. Everyone needs to feel a sense of inclusion and understand how their ideas and contributions positively impact organizational outcomes.
We all arrive in the workplace with our own unique set of skills and strengths. To develop your career, you have to develop those skillsets and add new ones. But because each person’s background is different, there’s no single path for professional development that’s right for everyone. What you need to focus on to get to the next level in your career may not be the same thing your colleague needs. You have to develop a unique strategy that’s right for you.
The business world is changing so quickly that it’s often hard to know how to keep up and help your employees cope with the pace of change.
For leaders, it’s crucial to remain relevant in order to be heard and valued. Even if you have great ideas, a great mission and a vision of the future, if you’re not relevant, no one will listen, and you won’t be successful as a leader.
Remaining relevant doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in every field, new idea or trendy concept. But you do have to know enough about your industry and about the world to understand what people are talking about. And you need to be able to communicate in a way that they can relate to. (more…)
This week, I’m attending an event that always energizes me: the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Annual Leadership Conference. I’m excited to be here with more than 3,000 other attendees, including a very special guest―Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of the Sodexo Board of Directors and Chair of Bellon SA. We’ll be taking part in a question and answer session today on the impact of women in leadership, a subject we are both passionate about.
Women have made huge strides in their pursuit of higher education and now earn more associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees than men. Yet they remain noticeably absent from STEM careers despite strong job growth in the past decade and solid projections for continued growth. There’s a lot of incentive: according to Forbes, careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities. In fact, women who hold STEM positions earn 92 cents to the dollar versus 77 cents for women in other fields.
Food matters. The nutritional value and appeal of their food makes a difference to the scientists on the International Space Station. That point was made during a panel discussion “Is Food the Cure?” by Vickie Kloeris, Manager, International Space Station Food System, NASA Johnson Space Center. She was joined by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann, Cardiologist, Nutritionist and Writer, and Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. They were among the speakers that I was privileged to hear at Sodexo’s inaugural Quality of Life Conference.
It’s hard to avoid the topic of the talent gap; online pundits, academic think tanks and the media routinely debate the source of the problem and possible solutions. Accolo.com reports that employers are frustrated; 40% of businesses are having trouble finding qualified applicants for key positions. Worse, 55% confirmed that these talent issues were affecting their ability to meet client needs.
Youth engagement programs help young people find their path to a promising and fulfilling career through real-world experience. They foster engagement in the community, teach unique skill sets and provide future employment opportunities. Sites like Career Kids include career awareness and exploration materials for teachers and students. About Careers is targeted at children, teens and parents, who can use the site to explore how to choose an occupation, find a job, get the skills necessary to enter the work force and learn how to develop good work habits.
Some people believe leadership is about genetics – you are born a leader. In rare cases, I’ve encountered people who have a natural talent and ability to lead others. However, the vast majority of successful leaders are made. Like me, they grow into their positions of authority through life experiences, lessons learned, personal development and a desire to always achieve more.
International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1909 to recognize the efforts of women who were campaigning for change during a time of oppression and inequality in America. You may wonder if this observance is still relevant today following a century of incredible progress. Legislation has given women the right to vote, to get equal pay and bans gender discrimination in education programs. Women have crossed the Atlantic and flown into space. In 2013, Janet Yellen was confirmed as the Board Chair of the Federal Reserve System and this year, Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors. Pretty impressive.