Glass ceiling for women? Colgate-Palmolive is devoted to breaking it
At Colgate-Palmolive, our purpose is to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. It’s this purpose that drives our commitment to building a workforce that truly represents the communities we serve, and creates an environment of inclusivity where everyone, including women, can contribute and thrive.
In 2022, women represented 53% of our company’s salaried and clerical workforce and 36% of vice presidents and above. We also saw an approximately 2.5 percentage point increase in female representation at the vice president-level in 2022 vs. 2021 and a nearly 9 percentage point jump globally over the last five years. I am proud of the progress we have made, yet recognize there is still more we can do. There are several areas we are focused on and I am personally engaged on these fronts – because I believe the sky’s not even the limit for women today!
First, at Colgate, we have a strong Women’s ERG (employee resource group) that offers programming and resources to create community and foster connections. Networking opportunities like this are vital within Colgate where relationships matter and they are important in the world because partnerships accelerate progress. For example, we have a great program with Women Unlimited to help develop women and allow participants to learn from high potentials at other companies. I’m also proud of the partnerships Colgate has with career development organizations including Brand Leadership Institute (BLI) and Forums for Executive Women (FEW).
Second, we are helping the next generation in the communities we serve through mentoring programs. Mentors benefit just as much as mentees, and I can say there is something to reverse mentoring as well – especially in this digital world where Gen Z is leading the way. We partner with several organizations, including the Wadleigh School in New York, 1,000 Dreams Fund and American Corporate Partners, to provide access to meaningful mentor relationships.
Third, and perhaps most important, I’d point to our overall culture and our values – caring, inclusive and courageous, which all speak to me, especially as a woman of color. At Colgate we take our culture seriously and, as a leader, I have benefited from our inclusive culture and feel a fierce commitment to strengthening it. Sponsoring talented women within the organization, recruiting female leaders, and ensuring we respect and encourage voices from all corners of the world irrespective of seniority, function or geography – is crucial to breaking down barriers.
It is a privilege to be in a position where I can help advance the progress of women in leadership, and I am fortunate to work for a company that provides resources and opportunities to empower the next generation of leaders.