Quigley is president of U.S. sales for Mondelēz International. He
leads all direct-store-delivery retail and customer headquarter activities for
the snacks and confectionery businesses. He previously served as
president–consumer sales for the North American consumer sales organization at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Quigley also has held senior sales positions at PepsiCo Inc. and
E & J Gallo Winery.
You’ve been in the consumer goods and retail
industry for more than 35 years. How have the roles of women changed?
The most significant change I have
witnessed is the number of women who are now mid-level and senior-level
managers. In the early days of my
career, women were primarily in sales rep roles; sadly very few were in management
roles. Additionally, HR departments were small and lacking diversity
strategies. Once the CEOs and HR leads decided that their respective workforces
must reflect the general population, progress was made.
What business advantages have come with the
increased presence of women on leadership teams in the industry?
The biggest advantage is diversity of
thought. Women bring different perspectives ―as working moms, as consumers, as
leaders, to challenge norms, speak to gender differences, etc. On my leadership
team I have Val Oswalt who is one of four area vice presidents reporting into
me. At the regional vice president/corporate vice president/director levels we
have a number of other talented female team members who bring great value to
our organization. Additionally we are
recruiting the top business undergrads at schools across the country to build
our pipeline of female talent and build our bench strength. Can you think of an instance when having a
woman on a team influenced the decision-making process?
I have been most influenced by our Mondelēz
Women's Sales Council. I am inspired by their individual and collective energy!
The vision of the Women’s Sales Council is to "attract, develop, retain
and advance women at Mondelēz International.” They have identified initiatives
that drive business results and they are tracking those results. This is one of
the first instances when an inter-company council has set business objectives
as part of its charter and tracked results. There has been a great deal of discussion
recently on whether the onus is more on women or corporations to change if more
women are going to reach and succeed in senior executive positions. What are
I agree that the responsibility for women
to grow their careers and achieve their professional aspirations is the joint
responsibility of the company and the individual. Accountability on the
company's side can be further embraced by senior executives serving as sponsors
and mentors for top-talent women. We must also be willing to stretch diverse
top talent and provide an environment where failure is a learning and
broadening process while on the journey of accumulating invaluable experiences. What advice, from the male perspective,
would you give emerging female leaders in terms of preparing for and
positioning themselves for advancement?
My advice is to clearly articulate your
professional aspirations. Additionally
it's important to be open and transparent about where and what your business
acumen gaps are. Nobody knows everything and both men and women need to be open
about where they need to learn and acquire knowledge. This is where sponsors
and mentors can play an important role in the development process. Don't be afraid to show your vulnerability ―
ask for assistance and seek knowledge!