My career has spanned numerous industries, roles, and companies, and along this path I have encountered both positive and challenging experiences that have shaped and developed my professional (and personal) growth. I base my career choices on a philosophy to honor my ethical standards, integrity, and values. I also strongly believe in adhering to a personal pact to stay true to myself—to who I am—while understanding and maintaining the needs of the company, my position, and my responsibilities and commitments outside of the workplace.
Working for Coca-Cola, a company with ubiquitous brands, has allowed me the opportunity to have a variety of experiences across many geographies and functions. I have not followed the “traditional” path to my current role in diversity, but I have always been passionate about the importance of multiculturalism as a tool for growth in the evolving North American marketplace and workplace. I am fortunate to work for a company that recognized my passion and was open to giving me an opportunity to act upon it.
Throughout my journey, I have sought out colleagues and other professionals to serve as my mentors. With each relationship, I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses and gained a better understanding of how I could effectively help my employers achieve their goals and objectives—along with my own. Mentoring played an integral part in my progression as a female business leader, woman of color, and a single mother.
I am often asked to serve as a mentor or coach. It is a role I enjoy, and I take pride in providing honest counsel. My advice to professionals entering the ever-evolving workplace today is to be proactive, learn all you can, and be flexible. The traditional notions of what defines a career are changing…and you, too, will change. Be curious and reach out across functions and departmental boundaries, because you may be surprised by what you will learn about the company and about yourself.
- Take the time to learn who you are and what is best for you, professionally and personally.
- Maintain work/life balance.
- Set achievable goals/objectives.
- Be coachable and become a coach.