Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi talks about giving back now that she's retired, the restricting labels that are often placed on women leaders and her motivation for sharing her story in her recently released book, "My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future." Nooyi says the corporate world has to stop comparing women to the ideal worker of the past -- almost always defined as male -- and that "[w]e have to say the ideal CEO, the ideal worker, the ideal executive of today is whoever's doing the job the best."
With the wisdom of experience, eight women leaders reveal the advice they'd give to their younger selves. Georgina Atwell, the founder of children's book review platform Toppsta, recommends that aspiring leaders let in people who can help and in turn "[h]old open the door for other women," while sleepwear brand Pjoys founder Michelle Morgan wants girls to embrace their talent for thinking differently and see uncomfortable moments as gifts that build character and resilience.
It's important that companies listen if they hope to retain talented women and develop them as future leaders, writes Beth Castle, the managing editor of InHerSight. Castle recommends starting Slack channels dedicated to groups such as working parents or singles living alone during the pandemic, holding town hall talks that go beyond business news and encouraging managers to talk to employees about their lives.
Recent studies show that women are effective leaders -- surpassing men in many areas -- but workplace biases remain strong and can affect women negatively, writes Tracy Brower. To help women "find their strength, express their voice and apply their talents," everyone needs to analyze the language they use to describe women and other genders, female employees must not let biases keep them from demonstrating their abilities, and leaders must implement policies and programs that empower women and foster success, Brower advises.
Specialty food brands and retailers can win over consumers by catering to needs and new habits developed during the pandemic and feeding the need for treats at every price point, Mintel Global Food analyst Melanie Zanoza Bartelme said during a session at Fancy Food 24/7. Consumers are craving convenience and comfort, and financial, physical and mental health are all playing a role in food choices.
Target and the Target Foundation have committed to invest $100 million over the next four years in programs, nonprofits and other groups dedicated to amplifying Black voices. The plan includes scholarships for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the retailer will also be a founding supporter of Detroit's Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, which is slated to reopen in March.
Workplaces shouldn't just look to recover from the pandemic but gain an edge on talent acquisition, especially with women disproportionately affected by COVID-19, write W. Brad Johnson and David Smith. This means rethinking attitudes about flexible work, avoiding split cultures of remote and on-site, and hiring managers "who can articulate the business case and the moral imperative for full gender balance and equity in the company, and promote those who exude authenticity, inclusiveness, humility, and empathy," they write.
Implicit bias and poor inclusion can hurt staff relationships, culture and decision-making, but becoming aware of bias is not enough to reverse the consequences. Leadership is key to bringing change to workplaces, and leaders can do so by inviting diverse perspectives to the table, calling out inappropriate behavior and making an effort to increase their own cultural competence.
AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris is one of 10 diversity leaders to watch and is one of this year's top 25 diversity leaders, according to Modern Healthcare. "As a country and industry, we have come a long way, but more work remains as we strive for more diverse companies, organizations, and boardrooms," Harris said.
When restaurants began shutting down and cutting staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pastry chefs took some of the hardest hits in the kitchen and many are still having difficulty finding jobs. However, three Los Angeles pastry chefs have used the past year to perfect their crafts and focus on what matters most.
Dr. LaToya Thompson, a Detroit-area physical therapist, let her interest in science guide her as she created her own luxury wine label, Opulence. Curious about the winemaking process, she read up on the subject, took classes, studied the art of pairing and, with the prodding of her husband, launched her label with a 2018 Napa Valley cabernet and a 2019 Lodi pinot grigio, choosing a brand name she hopes will inspire others -- especially Black consumers -- to indulge, since "I think we deserve and should have nice things," Thompson said.
Once something to be avoided at all cost, vulnerability and candor (such as admitting you don't have all the answers) are now widely advocated in the workplace to build trust, engagement and cooperation. Research that shows that sharing some vulnerability has a humanizing effect and makes leaders more relatable. Asking for advice or help at work can even make people appear more competent. Learn more.