Leadership Blog

PepsiCo & TGF Partnership Highlighted In Vault’s CSR Blog

By | Dana Brice Smith, Leadership Blog, News

TGF & PepsiCo partnership interview excerpts below. To view the entire interview, please see:

PepsiCo’s Most Powerful Recruitment Tool is a Marketing Campaign

In Good Company: Vault’s CSR Blog

Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 9:09:23 PM GMT

The last couple of weeks have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for food and beverage giant PepsiCo. First news hit the markets that for the first time—ever—Diet Coke had overtaken PepsiCo as the second-most popular soft drink in the country behind Coca-Cola.

Right on the footsteps of this news that had the media—and bloggers—in a tizzy over whether PepsiCo’s Refresh Project is hurting their sales, the company announced the second phase of its women entrepreneurship program in partnership with international nonprofit Trestle Group Foundation, where senior leaders team up with women in emerging economies to provide them with mentoring, coaching, and other business development support.

It was perfect timing to connect with Chief Personnel Officer Cynthia Trudell.

Some of the questions on my mind: How does PepsiCo define CSR, what does Performance with Purpose mean for talent attraction and retention, and was the company reanalyzing its very bold Refresh project—which shifted advertisement dollars from Super Bowl ads to funding local crowd-sourced social enterprise projects?

2. Career

Initiatives like our current partnership with Trestle Group [The nonprofit group helps identify qualified women entrepreneurs in emerging economies and partners them with PepsiCo management who help them build skills, strategies, practices and networks needed to overcome barriers to growth, and further develop the entrepreneur’s business]* helps us achieve our second goal: Career development.

We have learned from our diversity and inclusion efforts that we need to mass-customize our development efforts as they relate to men and women, and work to identify that which isn’t common, but that which is different.

One of the observations that we’ve made over the years from our work with Trestle is that women aren’t always the best at mentoring and sponsoring other women.

This program then helps us show the power of women mentoring women and over time sponsoring them to advance to higher levels of management.

This is a personal passion for me. We have been advancing women throughout the company globally for a long time now and today women account for 30 percent of our management and executive ranks. And initiatives like this work perfectly in allowing women globally to learn from each other’s challenges.

It’s almost like a mini-globalization leadership development program—but a much more intense version. I’d like to expand the project throughout the company.

*More on the Trestle Group Foundation: By sponsoring the Partnership Program, PepsiCo addresses numerous social and business challenges, while simultaneously reinforcing the company’s established business purposes, including talent sustainability, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, executive coaching, leadership development, attraction and retention of talent, CSR, sustainability, and contributing to emerging economies. More information.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2011 – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies

By | Dana Brice Smith, Leadership Blog, News

Zürich, Switzerland, March 8, 2011 –A recent opinion editorial by Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, in Bloomberg’s Businessweek  ( stated that, “Today, there are more than 200 million women entrepreneurs worldwide. Women earn more than $10 trillion every year, which is expected to grow by $5 trillion over the next several years. In many developing countries, women’s incomes are growing faster than men’s.”

Trestle Group Foundation, through our Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program, works in collaboration with leading global organizations like IBM and PepsiCo to provide vital “human capital” executive support to high-potential women-led businesses in emerging economies.

The award-winning Partnership Program identifies qualified women entrepreneurs in emerging economies and partners them with established business professionals who help build the skills, strategies, practices and networks needed to overcome barriers to growth, and further develop the entrepreneur’s business.

Our customized, relationship-based program model provides a unique blend of executive coaching, collaborative team support, skill building and networking – actively engaging networks and resources to “open doors” to new business opportunities.

By extension, the partnership aims to support economic opportunities within the entrepreneur’s wider community by allowing her to fulfill her potential and secure long-term business success.

What differentiates the Trestle Group Foundation is its background in and commitment to business drivers, both for the women entrepreneurs and sponsor companies.

The Partnership Program provides a platform for leading organizations – and their executives – to engage, give back and directly affect opportunities for the women-led businesses. Additionally, sponsors can address numerous social and business challenges, while simultaneously reinforcing the company’s established core business objectives and values.

Here is a sample of what executives are saying about Trestle Group Foundation and the Partnership Program:

“Corporations have an obligation to the society that hosts them; we call this Performance with Purpose – achieving business and financial success while leaving a positive imprint on society.  As an international company we take our duty to society very seriously, the partnership with the Trestle Group Foundation is a unique opportunity to give something back to the global community that we serve.” Zein Abdalla, PepsiCo Europe President

“In addition to the executive support provided to the entrepreneurs, participating in the Partnership Program reinforces an important part of our Performance with Purpose agenda – ‘Talent Sustainability’. We are committed to promoting diversity, attracting the world’s best talent and providing challenging opportunities for our women executives to develop their own critical experiences. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ initiative.” Rob Hargrove, Chairman of the PepsiCo Europe Division Diversity & Inclusion Council

“It has been a great experience, one which I would wholeheartedly recommend to others in terms of gaining a critical experience, truly experiencing Diversity & Inclusion within a very different culture, and the ability to truly ‘give back’ to an individual striving to succeed in an emerging economy such as Jordan.” Mary Good, Manufacturing Director of Beverages for PepsiCo’s European Region

“Trestle offers a unique opportunity for IBM employees to connect with women entrepreneurs in some of our key growth markets. Through the coaching program our employees are exposed not only to a market they are not necessarily familiar with but to the mindset of an entrepreneur, useful learning which can be utilized within the IBM corporation.  They are also challenged to use their expertise and skill set in a new environment, which we cannot easily replicate in a corporate situation. It is truly a win – win initiative.” Wendy Papworth, NE/SW IOT Workforce Diversity Manager, IBM

“It has been a great experience to be part of the Trestle Group Foundation coaching program and to able to support Tala (VARCC Communications Jordan) in her success story as a strong and vibrant woman entrepreneur. On the personal level, it was fulfilling to extend my expertise to my home country, Jordan. I’m thankful for this program and to IBM for giving me this opportunity.” Dima Kandalaft, Associate Partner and Public Sector Lead, Middle East & North Africa IBM Global Business Service

“I was able to engage in a deep, sincere and mutually interesting relationship with an amazing businesswoman who was intelligent, ambitious, strong, but also very human and sensitive. I am very happy that our roads crossed, and that I was given an opportunity to help and support her, as well as learn from her. This was a fantastic experience! I am sure we will maintain our relationship in future.” Tatiana Sorokina, Operations Manager, IBM EEA Moscow

Through the Partnership Program, Trestle Group Foundation strives to create “shared value” with our sponsors. When companies do well by doing good, the greater the impact we can achieve on behalf of women entrepreneurs in emerging economies.

You can learn more about International Women’s Day here:

Dana Brice Smith, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Trestle Group Foundation

We relaunch!

By | Dana Brice Smith, News

It has been a long time coming, but we have finally made it. Our new homepage is live, and there is much for you to see and read about.

Join me on a quick tour through the new features available on our site:

  • brand new programs section
  • donate through Ammado
  • twitter stream
  • flickr stream
  • new videos