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PepsiCo Presents: Women the 5G Network


Women Working It

I had a wonderful time at my first Blogher conference in NYC.  There were many great moments but one that stood out to me was attending PepsiCo’s “Sofa Summit” and the launch of their Women5G Network.

Only 30 bloggers were invited to this intimate breakfast to discuss women as leaders, and I was very excited to be one of them.

It was moderated by award winning journalist formerly of CNN and NBC Campbell Brown, and included three of PepsiCo’s female leaders, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Chief Marketing Officer, Gatorade; Julie Hamp, Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, PepsiCo; and Dondeena Bradley, Vice President, Global Design and Development, Nutrition Ventures.

How cool was this?

A highlight of the conversation was having each woman discuss their path to success.  Some tokens of wisdom were:

Know your roles and responsibility in your career and home life.

Attend nontraditional conferences and find more niches for yourself.  Provide a broader platform of understanding.  (Meaning don’t sell yourself short or pigeon-hole yourself into one area.  Honor your passions.

Stay true to yourself and to your values.

Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.

When I heard Dondeena Bradley say that she reinvented herself many times, I was intrigued.  I couldn’t wait to ask a follow up question to her statement.  When I had the chance I raised my hand.  This was the best thing I did because I was only 1 of 4 women who were able to ask their question on camera due to time constraints.

My question was: “Dondeena, you touched upon the concept of reinventing yourself earlier.  I meet so many women who are afraid to do just that.  Can you give us your top 3 tips to help women overcome their fears?

Dondeena’s Answer:

Lean on your network: Dondeena wrote 10 letters to high level women in her company and other companies she worked with through the years.  She focused on what she admired about them and kept in touch on their career movements.  A woman from her network helped her land her current position at PepsiCo.

Create a community, so that women can network and reach out.  Focus on building relationships.

Listen and collect information in your area of expertise and distribute knowledge to others.  Be a resource.

Additionally, other pearls of wisdom given were:

Lead confidently: many times we create our own barriers around ourselves.

Be aware of the leadership around you.  Model their behavior, because change starts with you.

Speak up!  Say it in a way that doesn’t offend others but gets your point across.  Get your voice out there.

Adopt a “Who Cares” attitude and don’t be afraid to be provocative.

After the great Sofa Summit, a woman from PepsiCo’s PR firm approached me and asked if I would like to be interviewed on camera along with the PepsiCo leadership at their blogcast studio in the exhibit area.  044

Now ladies, let me give you a visual.  I was dressed in a t-shirt, flip-flops and no makeup.  I was dressed for schlepping through the conference, not to have an on-camera interview.  But you know what?  I said yes.  Always say yes.






Next thing I know, I’m on the 3rd floor of the Hilton being placed on a beautiful white sofa with a PepsiCo leader on either side of me and getting makeup put on my face.  Ready for my close-up?  Not really, but I was so excited I didn’t care.  I put my game face on and did my interview as if I was wearing a $1000 suit and hot Louboutin heels.  It was a great opportunity and it taught me a lesson to always be prepared and feel my best because you never know what is going to happen next.


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