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Northern California sells out event with male executive panel

Thursday, November 3, 2011  
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More than 400 NEW members and supporters had the "Best of Both Worlds” at a Northern California networking event featuring a panel of top male cpg/retail executives who shared their thoughts on women and leadership. The record-setting event was held Oct. 28, 2011 in Pleasanton, Calif.

Ken Barnett CEO of MARS Advertising; Kevin Cleary, president and COO of Clif Bar; John Foraker, CEO of Annie's Inc.; Kelly Griffith, president of Safeway Consumer Demand; and Steve Sprinkle, vice president, domestic sales for E&J Gallo Winery, offered their take on the differences between men and women, common misperceptions about both, defusing workplace tension and increasing gender diversity. The event, held at the Palm Event Center, was facilitated by executive coach Kathleen Stinnett.

The panel revealed scientific data about the differences in male and female brains and how they work. The implications of these hardwired differences are that men typically want to problem solve and make a decision quickly, while women spend more time thinking about the connections and relationships around a given situation. Utilizing both of these approaches will lead to better decisions, the executives noted.

Men are typically more comfortable taking credit, while women usually give credit to others, added Griffith, who offered a tip for women. "Say ‘My team did a great job on that project,’ so that you are taking credit for the team while also sharing credit.”

Julie Oxner, category development account executive at Procter & Gamble, said the program helped her under understand the fundamental differences between men and women and how to leverage the strengths of each. "I will use what I learned not only at work, but also at home with my husband,” she said.

Among the companies represented at the sold-out event were Clif Bar, The Clorox Co., Del Monte Foods, E&J Gallo Winery, The Hershey Co., Kraft Foods, Mars Advertising, Nielsen, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Safeway, Slalom Consulting and Walmart Stores.

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