Women are still underrepresented in leadership roles. Executive Sally Susman hopes to change that.

Pfizer

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Pfizer

Women make up 50.8 percent of the population in the U.S. and earn more than 57 percent of undergraduate degrees and 59 percent of master's degrees. Yet they make up only a small percentage of CEOs at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies, according to research from the Harvard Business Review.

While it's clear women have the skills needed to be effective leaders, there's a lack of opportunity available. A 2018 report called Women in the Workplace found that only 38 percent of companies set targets for gender representation.

Seeing women in leadership positions is not only important for representation, but it also helps inspire other women. Eighty-six percent of U.S. women report that seeing other women in leadership positions breaks down the barrier to imagining themselves in those positions, according to a KPMG Women's Leadership Study.

One such leader paving the way for women is Sally Susman, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer. Susman, whose experience spans over three decades, previously held top roles at Estée Lauder and American Express. She also held appointed positions in the Clinton and Obama Administrations and serves as co-chair of the board of the International Rescue Committee and on the board of WPP plc, an advertising and marketing company based in the U.K.


Susman's experience puts her in the position to inspire future leaders and help them reach their goals. To do so, she partnered with Upworthy to share what she calls "Simple Truths," or advice she's learned throughout her 30-plus years in business and politics, to help others succeed.

Over the years, Susman learned that people matter most. She said one of her proudest accomplishments has been building a "fantastic team" of "talented, dedicated, and purpose-driven people" at Pfizer.

Susman also shared the importance of resilience, a trait she considers to be ageless.

She stressed seizing the opportunities that come from a new beginning.

Her last piece of advice: know what works best for you.

As a business leader, engaged citizen, and influencer, Susman is passionate about supporting women at all levels of their career. She can be found on LinkedIn where she frequently shares stories, advice and inspiration.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

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"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

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Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

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That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

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