Online Exclusives

Strategies for Accelerating Your Career

By Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor | November 19, 2009

Cosmetic Executive Women panelists explain how to recession-proof your job.

How can recession-proof career strategies be built in the current economy? Three experts in the beauty industry took a good, hard look at the realities of surviving and prospering in today’s beauty business. With Carlotta Jacobson, president, Cosmetic Executive women setting the stage for the lively discussion to follow, attendees listened with rapt attention, as Heidi Manheimer, CEO, Shiseido; Lynne Greene, global brand president, Clinique, Origins and Ojon, The Estée Lauder Companies, and Claudia Poccia, president, Mark., Avon Products, Inc., discussed strategies for success in a challenging market. While Jacobson noted that recent research showed women currently dominating today’s work force for the first time, there are measures to implement to avoid stalling in middle management positions.

Citing a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the results of which may be found at: www.cew.org, women were found to have held 66% of the managerial positions, but only 33% of those were as senior level executives. Jacobson noted the importance of mentorship as well as building a knowledge network, as being instrumental in achieving success. Both of these opportunities are available through Cosmetic Executive Women’s newly launched programs.
 
Heidi Manheimer, CEO, Shiseido Cosmetics America, Lynne Greene, Global Brand President, Clinique, Origins, and Ojon, The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., and Claudia Poccia, President, mark., Avon Products, Inc.

Context for Success in the Cosmetics Industry


While many of the strategies suggested may be valuable in any business, Greene offered crucial advice about defining what you want your career to be.

“Understand the landscape of the business, decide what you want to do with it, and be able to enjoy it,” said Greene. “When you decide what you want your career to be reverse-engineer it. Don’t always look to just go up. Try to learn all the related disciplines along the way,” she added.

Manheimer urged the audience to evaluate their skill set and break out of their comfort zone.
 
"Be adaptable to different work cultures," she said. "It’s very important that in addition to having the qualities to do the job, you also have to have the confidence to assert yourself and get the job done.”

This was important for Manheimer, as CEO of Shiseido, a Japanese company, which has a different cultural perspective and approach. That said, Greene noted that, “Everyone who is running a business is looking for the best person to fill the job, someone with the capabilities, the common sense, and the desire to succeed.”

On balancing career and motherhood, Greene said, “With all the women who are coming into this industry, you have to say, ‘I’m planning my life,’ and put that in the plan. It’s fabulous that every woman in this business has the option to have both career and motherhood, but it’s important to know the constraints to that too.”

Poccia emphasized the importance of balance, adding, “Pro-active, self-starters will definitely gain recognition by taking the lead. This is a way to set yourself apart. Work/life balance is a workplace issue, not necessarily a gender issue.” She further noted, “At Avon there is a work/life balance and we have to manage that. I look at Andrea Jung, who is a working mother and a CEO of a $10 billion company. So, we’re role models for that. To have someone at the top walk the talk is empowering.”

Global and Generational Perspectives


“As a Japanese company we have other issues. We’re having a conversation about US women being stalled in middle management level roles. In Japan, we’re fighting to get to mid-level,” said Manheimer, noting that with Shiseido great strides are being made.

Greene addressed the global context in terms of understanding attributes of different countries. “If you want to be in a global position, the best way to prepare for it is to live all over the world. Travel, visit, learn languages, and understand the culture. We have just put together a profile of six countries, in terms of total attributes,” she said, acknowledging the diversity encountered in global business.

Poccia addressed the work/life equation in terms of generational perspectives.

“With Gen Y it’s about balancing obligations. Gen Y expects a work/life balance. Gen Y wants to know what is the specific deliverable and wants flexibility in work style and hours. You need to be more fluid now with how the job gets done. I do believe there’s more informality now in the workplace. There are generational nuances,” Poccia said.

Regarding professional development, Manheimer said, “We’re small enough so we can identify with groups and individuals and we try to look for solutions where needed. Maybe there’s a need for a class or a mentor. In our company we do professional development in a more organic way.”

Greene noted the company’s task force, which recognizes and finds talent to develop; and Poccia said, “We try to recognize leaders and provide mentoring and coaching, as well as formal training, domestically and abroad. This is part of a formal process; it’s done twice a year.”

All agreed that staying positive in trying times was essential.

“Stay in touch with people. Stay informed. Stay positive and energetic,” said Greene. “Keep reminding yourself, especially today, in a recession like this, that you are good. I think contact and maintaining knowledge of the industry helps you do that,” added Greene.

Manheimer agreed that remaining positive and connected is key.

"Think of anyone you know. Go through your contacts and reach out,” said Manheimer.

Greene emphasized the importance of obtaining skills that you might need.

“I may not have an MBA, but the principles of knowing how to run a business have to be there. You don’t need to be an accountant, but you do need to understand the principles of business. Seek out the skills you require.” Manheimer concurred, “It’s your job to learn what skills are necessary, and it’s ultimately your job to go and get these skills.”

While the subject of women in the cosmetic industry, particularly in challenging times, was at the heart of the discussion, several themes emerged. Empowerment, rather than entitlement, remained key; and emotional intelligence and confidence were also important. Manheimer concluded, “There are many people before us who have paved the way for women, and there are many more to come.”

Related End-User Markets:

  • The World Comes to Orlando

    The World Comes to Orlando

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

  • Perform or Perish

    Perform or Perish

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 1, 2016
    Success in today’s skin care sector begins with active ingredients, formulated in products that address modern-day issues.

  • Soap Opera

    Soap Opera

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    FDA’s recent antibacterial ruling has soap sector stakeholders scrambling to keep some ingredients in their formulation kit.

  • Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 21, 2016
    With a recent investor infusion, a new CEO and rebranding effort underway, this luxury beauty retailer has big plans.

  • Organic Matter

    Organic Matter

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    FTC and USDA hold a public roundtable to discuss consumers’ perception of organic claims.

  • Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 1, 2016
    Skinphonic is a new brand created with a team of beauty experts and fronted by singer Smokey Robinson.

  • Hair for Me!

    Hair for Me!

    October 31, 2016
    Function of Beauty fulfills the promise of personalization in the beauty space—one bottle at a time.

  • A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 24, 2016
    With three doors in Canada, Blitz Facial Bar opens its first US location in one of the hippest areas of New York.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • P&G’s Latest Patents

    P&G’s Latest Patents

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    A look at recent patent and IP related news from the biggest household and personal care player in the US.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Expanding Erbaviva

    Expanding Erbaviva

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 13, 2016
    A farm-to-bottle organic brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new look, new products and plans to expand in the US.

  • Lauder’s Latest Patents

    Lauder’s Latest Patents

    September 1, 2016
    A composition with NIR light emitting material, a skin care device and more awarded to this beauty business giant.

  • ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 29, 2016
    All eyes are on Lash Star Beauty, a lash-centric beauty brand that recently made its QVC debut.

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Pushin’ the Cushion

    Pushin’ the Cushion

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 26, 2016
    AmorePacific, the creator of the cushion compact, continues to improve its unique product.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • An Antioxidant Arsenal

    An Antioxidant Arsenal

    July 11, 2016
    BioRewind is Dermarché Labs' new anti-aging regimen that delivers broad-spectrum antioxidant protection against free radicals

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.

  • Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    Start Stuffing The Ballot Box (Again)!

    June 28, 2016
    Vote on the finalists in Happi's reader's choice Anti-Aging Product of the Year contest!