5 Questions with Janice McCarthy
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Director of Customer Investment and
Colgate Business Planning, North America
"You simply need to
get involved, collaborate with others and have fun."
As director of customer
investment and Colgate business planning in North America for the
Colgate-Palmolive Company, Janice McCarthy leads the development of strategic
initiatives encompassing ROI/Commercial Investments, Customer Engagement and
Colgate Business Planning in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.In
collaboration with global and subsidiary leadership, she is responsible for
identifying and championing efforts to "instill disciplines and drive
synergies.” Most recently, McCarthy was the director of drug channel in U.S.
Customer Development. Under her leadership, Colgate achieved strong levels of
customer alignment and engagement and was recognized as Vendor of the Year by
What are some of
Colgate-Palmolive’s most effective initiatives for advancing the careers of
Colgate offers numerous
networks and affinity groups to reach our female audience. These groups not
only provide value-added resources, such as Lunch N’ Learns and mentoring
circles, but encourage our colleagues to network and collaborate.
What do you see as your
most important responsibilities and opportunities as a Network of Executive
First, an opportunity
resides in elevating the internal awareness of the Network of Executive Women
by articulating the benefits in our involvement with this organization. Second
is in motivating and encouraging all of our colleagues to support the women on
their teams via embracing the resources and opportunities available to us. I
have seen firsthand the excitement and passion our women have in leading the
charge to advance their colleagues and develop into stronger business leaders.
Two areas that have proven successful to elevate the awareness and insights
across our NEW regional committees and broader organization are quarterly
conference calls with regional committee members and NEW breakfasts. We use the
conference calls to share our learnings across the regions, as well as ask
questions and discuss how we can continue to elevate to the next level. Also,
at each of our last two annual sales conferences, we have extended invitations
to all attendees to a NEW breakfast. At this breakfast we feature a keynote
speaker, such as a NEW member and leader from one of our retail partners, along
with a NEW director. These women, coupled with our regional members, share
testimonials and provide their perspective on NEW and the impact it has had on
In what ways have you
best been able to engage the senior leadership at Colgate-Palmolive to
strengthen the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts?
As we enter our third
year of NEW sponsorship, I view our objective as taking one step at a time. We
have successfully engaged many senior members over the past two years and yet
realize there are opportunities for further advancement. It has become a
personal mission to heighten our involvement, realizing the benefit for our
people. One-on-ones, with any colleague, regardless of rank and file, have been
beneficial for reinforcing the mission of NEW and its benefits to our people.
Many colleagues simply didn’t understand what NEW stood for or what it would
mean for our people. Taking the time to articulate the value makes a
difference. Taking it one step further, accompanying one colleague, male or
female, to a local event, mixer or national conference is an effective means of
engaging others. Once he or she witnesses firsthand the enveloping atmosphere,
they are drawn in and "get it.”
What tips do you have
for regional committee members looking to grow and activate NEW membership?
Anytime a new regional
member joins our team, I have a one-on-one to convey both the expectations of
the role and our charge with this organization. The intent is to challenge that
individual to take this role to the next level. The role and its responsibility
will encompass both internal and external networking and influencing skills.
Internally, we want to raise the awareness, engage our colleagues and utilize
the learnings and insights from local events to develop others. I encourage our
regional members to share the learnings and lead success in their offices via
executing forums, such as Lunch N’ Learns. Externally, we want to lead the
charge in networking and building personal developmental plans. We want NEW members
to establish critical business connections. Active involvement in the steering
committees can foster bonds with women that can last a lifetime. The outcome is
all about the effort. I encourage each team member to go make a difference and
step out of his or her comfort zone. You simply need to get involved,
collaborate with others and have fun.
Colgate-Palmolive leveraged its NEW sponsorship?
We have made tremendous
progress by engaging hundreds of colleagues in the regional and national events.
NEW and Colgate have motivated dozens of women to approach and embrace their
personal development in a more robust and profound manner. With an upcoming
external executive panel partnering the Colgate Women’s Network with the
resources of with NEW, four external leaders will share their perspectives and
experiences at our headquarters. It is through the NEW alignment that this
panel came together. I am excited both personally and for my colleagues to
garner the insights and opinions, which may cause us each to think and approach
our business from a different viewpoint. Our opportunities reside in continuing
to spread the word and make believers of all. Motivation and passion can be
contagious. For each woman who fearlessly leads this charge, she is advancing
the footprint in our marketplace. NEW is a means to support her through this