GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
Nestlé USA

Women’s peer networks are complex, determined, and, for me, absolutely irreplaceable

A lot of today's career guidance focuses on mentorship and sponsorship, but Nestlé's Chief People Officer says to remember peer relationships

Below is an article originally written by Judy Cascapera published on June 26, 2018. This article is about PowerToFly Partner NESTLE. Go to NESTLE's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.


When I think of the mentors I've had over my career, I don't focus on the people who managed me, though I surely am indebted to many of them. Instead, I tend to reminisce about the fantastic group of peers who supported me along the way to my current role as our company's Chief People Officer.

Early in my career, I bonded with a group primarily of women who also worked in human resources. We were in similar life stages, having children around the same time. We were ambitious and high-performing; we worked hard but also had fun, often playing goofy music and dancing around the office after hours and bonding together in meaningful ways.

When I confided to my closest colleagues that I aspired to run the human resources department at a major company one day, they supported and helped me map out the steps I would need to take to get there. Most importantly, they gave me truly honest feedback that stuck with me to this day. Now that I've achieved that dream at Nestlé, I know I couldn't have done it without them.

They were there every step of the way providing support, guidance, cheerleading, and reassurance. Having a network of smart, energetic women in my corner made all the difference as I navigated an environment that was rapidly changing for women in leadership.

Today, when I meet with young women seeking career advice, I urge them to form their own peer networks. I want them to learn from what I've lived: By surrounding yourselves with supportive people who understand your challenges as well as your aspirations, you'll have a much greater chance of thriving and succeeding. Connect with the colleagues who want to see each other happy and fulfilled and will work tirelessly to make that happen.

Research from a variety of fields all around the world backs up my personal experience, showing that having the support of a peer, or peers, can help women succeed. A microfinance experiment, for instance, found that female entrepreneurs in India who attended a business course with a friend were more likely to secure lending and invest in their business than those who attended the event alone.

In 2017, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that female engineering students with a female peer mentor were more confident in their abilities, had a greater sense of belonging in engineering, and were less anxious. Impressively, every female student with a female mentor was still an engineering major at the end of their first year of college. Students without mentors had an 11% dropout rate.

The power of peer networks and peer mentoring underpins Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In circles, which bring together groups of women at similar career levels for conversation once a month. Members of the group discuss their ambitions and push each other to take on new roles and challenges. Women in Lean In circles are more likely to ask for — and receive — raises and promotions than women who are not.

While these sorts of networks often develop organically, companies like ours can also take steps to foster and support strong peer relationships. At Nestlé, we have affinity groups in areas like women's leadership, veterans and military spouses, and others, which bring employees together to discuss their careers, access internal and external leaders for insights, and process and discuss those insights together. We pair these types of programs with balance-oriented benefits and a wellness-focused environment so all employees can bring their best self to work every day.

At Nestlé, we understand that our success depends on our people. And our employees can only serve our customers and create incredible recipes if they're in an environment that encourages personal growth and inspires action. When Nestlé employees are able to connect with their peers and share in our common journey as a company, they'll thrive as individuals and we'll succeed as a company.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
CSL

The Outlook That Helps CSL’s Paula Manchester Invest in Herself and Her Team

If you told Paula Manchester that you weren't good at math, she wouldn't believe you.

"That's a global indictment," she says. "'I'm not good at math' implies that you don't have the ability to nurture that muscle. And then I'd ask what kind of math? There's a lot to math."

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
LogMeIn Inc.

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Afterpay

How Afterpay’s Emma Woods Seeks Out Growth for Herself and Her Team

When Emma Woods decided to take her children out of school for six months and homeschool them while traveling around Australia in a caravan, it wasn't the first time she found a way to balance personal and professional growth. It was just a more extreme version of the types of choices she had been making throughout her career.

Emma started her career in the world of telecommunications, moving from IC to team manager, then to contract positions when she had her children and needed flexible scheduling. Now in her current role as an Engineering Manager at payment platform Afterpay, Emma continues to find ways to manage her personal and professional growth, and her family's well-being.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020