4 women reveal the career advice they give others

Executives from Cartier, The Vitamin Shoppe, Dick’s and Sephora share their secrets for success
Kristina Stewart
Managing Editor
Mercedes Abramo
Mercedes Abramo,
Cartier North America

Advice isn’t just for those starting out in their careers. We can all use a reminder of the importance of advocating for ourselves, surrounding ourselves with the right people and keeping our eye on the prize.

Ahead of their appearance at the Equality Lounge at NRF Retail Converge, June 21-25, we asked four female executives: What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone climbing the corporate ladder?

Mercedes Abramo is president and CEO at Cartier North America.

We tend to have this idea that leaders are the people doing all the talking. In truth, however, you can’t be a great leader without doing a lot of listening first. Lead by example, with commitment and enthusiasm. Listen, and be open-minded.

Hear more from Abramo in: The pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace

Sharon Leite
Sharon Leite, The Vitamin Shoppe

Sharon Leite is CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe.

When I’m asked this question, I usually say … Love what you do so you never have to work a day in your life. Stay curious, yearn to learn. Be willing to take risks and always ask for what you want.

Hear more from Leite in: The pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace

Julie Lodge-Jarrett is chief people officer at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Julie Lodge Jarrett
Julie Lodge-Jarrett,
Dick's Sporting Goods

Get comfortable with being uniquely YOU! Too often we try to modify who we are to fit in, be more like others, or conform to some perceived norm. This isn’t an excuse to forgo feedback or not seek continuous improvement — but when we try to act like anyone other than our authentic self, we’re not at our best. This doesn’t serve us as individuals, or the organization. Embrace your differences and recognize the unique value that you can bring!

Hear more from Lodge-Jarrett in: Hacking diversity: How to retail talent when change is the only constant

Corey Yribarren is chief people officer at Sephora.

One of the most important things that I’ve learned in my career journey is the value of cultivating relationships with the people around you. As you climb the ‘corporate ladder,’ you’ll encounter many challenges. You’re going to take risks and you may not always get it right the first or second try — and that’s OK.

Corey Y
Corey Yribarren, Sephora

If you’re a working mom like myself, it adds even more layers of complexities when you’re figuring out how to balance a fast-paced career with your family life. But in those learning moments, it’s important to listen and to trust the people around you — your teams, your mentors, your family, etc.

I know in my career, I’ve had mentors who were my strongest advocates, who believed in me, even when I didn’t always believe in myself. That’s something I always keep in the back of my mind as I lead my HR team today. Sephora has great talent, and it’s important for me as a leader to empower our employees and offer them the opportunities to thrive. It’s not always easy, especially in a virtual setting, but I encourage open dialogue because cultivating these relationships with my team, and all teams, are a large part of the success of our brand.

Hear more from Yribarren in: The pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace

For more insights from retail leaders and industry changemakers, register for NRF Retail Converge, to be held virtually June 21-25.

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