Author Archives: J. Daniel

 

Jackie Daniel Salvation Army Redesign Bash IMG_9805

You'll have to forgive me. This post is really late but life is chaotic right about now (I'm getting things back on track. Just bear with me). Now, if you don't ready know, I'm a big fan of home design and if I happen to have any free time, something you're very likely to catch me doing is taking in some good ol' HGTV. From the shows about fixer uppers to finding new property to beach homes or finding homes out of the country, I just can't get enough. So, without question when fellow blogger Whitney Kidd, of Stiletto Life & Lipstick Rules asked me to join her for a special design-theme, charity event put together by The Salvation Army, I happily and eagerly accepted.

Jackie Daniel Carter Oosterhouse Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_6994
Me with rehab guru, Carter Oosterhouse.

 

FYI Network’s very own Carter Oosterhouse  (previously of HGTV) hosted the event. Proceeds were to benefit Salvation Army programs, which aim to help homeless people turn their lives round. The event was billed as an evening of fun, food, and inspired design, and it surely did not disappoint. Twenty-five “ReDesigners”, which included both professional and newbie designers, were tasked with rehabbing an old piece of furniture. But a simple rehab just wouldn't do. The volunteer participants literally transformed these pieces, in many cases making the final product was almost unrecognizable from the piece in its original form.

Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9777 Carter Oosterhouse Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9817 Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9821

My favorite piece, a luxury dog bed crafted from an old end table. Christine Griffin Smith flipped this table on its head and added some amazingly intricate detailing. Even the underside of the canopy bed was upholstered and fitted with whimsical lighting. It was remarkable to say the least.

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The top redesigned pieces were pieces were selected for the auction. Even Carter submitted a piece to the auction, a handcrafted wood box that housed two bottles of wine from his personal winery. It was a great event with a great turnout for a great cause. To learn more about the Salvation Army’s Florida Division, visit their site here: salvationarmyflorida.org

 

Diner_en_Blanc_2015_29 Richard Graulich
Photo Credit: Richard Graulich c/o Palm Beach Post

If you’re a lover of fancy picnics and or white parties, you may already be familiar with the Dîner en Blanc events. If not, here’s a brief run down. The concept was born in Paris in 1988 when François Pasquier had the idea to assemble a small group of friends for a picnic. The general idea: “Bring a meal, and bring a new friend”.  The friends all convened at the Bois de Boulogne dressed in white so they could easily find each other.  What started as a small get-together continued to grow over the years and now brings in over 15,000 participants in Paris.

The concept has been so successful that it has spread to various countries and cities around the world including Johannesburg, Montréal, Singapore, New York, Haiti, Jamaica and so many more. I first heard about Dîner en Blanc a few years ago after viewing pictures from Dîner en Blanc - Haiti. Just from looking at photos I could tell that this was an extraordinary event so when fellow Haitian-American blogger, Wanda of L’union Suite  made the announcement that a West Palm Beach edition was coming in November, I immediately wanted to be a part of it. I was lucky enough to score an invite to the secretive dinner and attended with my longtime friend and founder of W.H.I.T.E (Women Have It To Empower), Ketly Marcellus.

Ketly Marcellus Diner en Blanc West Palm Beach IMG_7989Jackie Daniel Diner en Blanc West Palm Beach IMG_7990

 

The dinner's location is kept secret until the day if the event. In most cases you don't find out until the moment you arrive at the site. One of the keys to this secrecy is in how the event is organized. Participants select group leaders and meet-up locations where they are to board a chartered bus and then head out for the dinner. Upon arrival, all of the buses unload their picnic supplies and begin setting up their tables according to the row they were assigned.

Diner_en_Blanc_2015_1 PBP Richard Graulich
Photo Credit: Richard Graulich c/o Palm Beach Post
Diner_en_Blanc_2015_18 Richard Graulich
Photo Credit: Richard Graulich c/o Palm Beach Post

Because this was Palm Beach's first year holding the dinner, I have to admit there were a couple of snags. Our bus left ridiculously late, and table setup was chaotic (let's not get into the torrential downpour that occured just before dinner since we can't blame anyone for that). However, once everything came together, it was a lovely experience. Performances from local artists were superb, the ambiance was elegant and the DJ played a great set that kept the diverse crowd on their feet until the end of the night. I'm looking forward to the next event. Maybe I'll check out the Miami edition when it comes around again next year.

White Napkin Wave Diner en Blanc West Palm Beach
Ceremonious waving of the white napkin to mark the beginning of the dinner.

 

Jackie Daniel and Ketly Marcellus Diner en Blanc IMG_7981

 

Check out some more photos from the event:

This post contains photos from the Palm Beach Post shot by photographer Richard Graulich.

 

9664 Office Halloween black Princess Jasmine

The Halloween celebration at my job seems to get bigger and bigger every year. From the elaborate party in the downstairs auditorium to the costume contest, and the haunted house and other related activities, Halloween definitively isn’t one of those days where you want to call out sick. This year a couple of my super-creative colleagues decided to decorate our entire department in the theme of an evil carnival, a CarnEvil to be precise. They went all out with the decor and needless to say our department emerged victorious when it came to the decorating contest.

I’m always up for having fun at work so I was all in on the festivities. I didn’t go for my usual over-the-top, creative costume this year (*side bar: I made a BuzzFeed list this year for my Halloween Costume as “The Cloud” last year check me out at #10). I just didn’t have the time or the energy to commit but I did thoroughly enjoy my Princess Jasmine getup. Check out a few pictures from the day’s shenanigans.

9684 Office Halloween CarnEvil carnival theme
Skeleton manned ticket booth entry (skeleton not pictured).

9688 Office Halloween clowns 9697 Office Halloween carnEvil mouse popcorn 9718 Office Halloween Clown 9712 Office Halloween Cotton candy

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The haunted house got a little crazy this year.

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Office Halloween Starwars Costumes Department VPs
EVPs and VPs patrolling these mean corporate halls like badasses from Starwars.
6951 Office Halloween Princess Jasmine and Ariel
Disney princesses among the clowns and sketchy carnival types.

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Photo credit: Marguerite Jeudy

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Pink Tie White Shirt Dress collage 2

 

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Pink Tie White Shirt Dress collage

 

I'm at it again with the ties. I can't help it; I love them. There something about taking a masculine piece of apparel and making it sassy that I find super appealing. So I originally had the idea of sporting a tie with a fitted white shirtdress but upon thinking about it, I decided that maybe it wouldn't be a look that would work for work. I just pictured myself looking like I had slept over my boyfriends house and had just decided to walk around the office pants-less in his white dress shirt. Not the best visual for the workplace. So when I found this option from Armani Exchange I thought it would be a great alternative. As you know I love color, so I paired the flowy white dress with a pop of color by adding the super hot pink pumps and matching pink tie. A little silver bracelet and tie clip complete this part business, part fabulous look.

envisioning it

Mood today: Envisioning my future. I'm looking forward to all of the wonderful things that lie ahead if I keep pressing forward. Staying steadfast and resilient can be hard but taking a few minutes to sit back and envision (I mean a vivid image of) what it will be like when you finally get to where you're going, might be one of the most helpful exercises to do. Procrastinate and it will take you longer to get there. Give up and that will never be your reality. Take some time today to envision it. Whatever "it" is. Then open up your eyes and do what you need to do to go get "it". Happy dream chasing ladies.

Famous failures grid2

If you're building a business, searching for a new job, or making some other transition in your life or career, something you may come to realize is that failure and rejection suck; like seriously, they blow.

Now, I'm an infamous believer in the idea that "everyone's journey is different and you shouldn't compare your journey to anyone else's." and I also firmly believe that if you work hard enough and smart enough, that the goals you set will be all yours when the time is right. Though it’s hard to keep this mindset when it feels like you just can’t seem to win, what I’ll say to you (and myself) is this: Keep focused on your journey regardless of whether you feel like you're lagging behind in some sort of race to the top or not. This simple mantra of sorts is a byproduct of my faith in God and a personality trait that allows me to be relentless and suborn enough not to give up when maybe most people would. But even I sometimes get caught up in the low of the lows.

So what helps me get out of those lows when my Positive Patty philosophies just aren't working? Thinking about other "failures".  There's nothing like knowing that someone else has also failed to lift your own spirit. Yes! I’m not alone in this failing thing. Wait, what? Before you pass judgment, I'm not talking about the “misery loves company” feeling. What I’m getting at is, there is reassurance in knowing that experiencing failure is a normal part of the journey and someone or several someones have managed to find the way out through the failure and onto success.

Let’s take a look at some famous failures. Shall we?

 

Kevin Systrom Instagram

Kevin Systrom - CEO, Instagram

Unbeknownst to him at the time of his departure, Kevin Systrom was working for a company that would eventually become Twitter. His stroke of luck or misfortune (depending on how you want to look at it) landed him at Nextstop, a travel tip site that was eventually sold to Facebook. Systrom thought he’d missed out on both the Twitter and Facebook boats. In 2010 he co-founded the photo-sharing app, Instagram. In 2012 he was offered $1 billion in cash and stock for the app.

 

Brian Acton1 What'sapp

Brian Acton - Co-founder, WhatsApp

Back in 2009 after doing a lengthy stint at Yahoo and then taking a year off to gallivant across South America, computer engineer, Brian Acton applied for a job at Facebook. He didn't get it. Clearly an optimist, Acton tweeted about his rejection focusing on the apparent silver lining presented in the opportunity to “connect with fantastic people.” That same year Acton partnered with fellow programmer Jan Koum to co-found WhatsApp, an instant messaging application for smartphones. In August, 2014 Facebook acquired WhatsApp for approximately $19 billion, in a deal that reportedly earned Acton more than $3 billion in stock and cash for his share in the company. Oh the irony! Imagine how differently life would have turned out if he had landed the job he thought he wanted with Facebook back in 2009.

Brian-Acton-Facebook

 

According to his Twitter account, Acton was also rejected by Twitter.

brian2

I get it. Long commutes are awful.

 

JayZ

 

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter - Rapper/Entrepreneur

Some times we think the answer is in being granted some kind of opportunity when the answer is really in creating the opportunity for ourselves. Even with a considerable amount of street buzz, Jay Z couldn’t get any bite from any of the major record labels. With few other options, the aspiring rapper began selling CDs out of his car. In 1995 he partnered with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs to create their own independent label, Roc-A-Fella Records. In 1996, under his own label he released his first album, Reasonable Doubt, an album, which would eventually be included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. To date he’s gone on to sell more than 100 million records and earned 21 Grammy awards for his musical work. He’s parlayed his musical success into various successful entrepreneurial ventures and assets, including entertainment company, Roc Nation, champagne brand, Armand de Brignac and most recently streaming service TIDAL, which just announced its expansion into Mexico. The self-made superstar currently boasts an estimated net worth of nearly $520 million. Funny how the record industry that once ignored him now has no choice but to grant him its full attention.

 

Diddy2

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs - Rapper/Producer/Entrepreneur

Kayne West isn’t the only college dropout in the hip-hop world. Combs attended the illustrious Howard University as a business major but dropped out in 1990, after only two years. He became an intern at Uptown Records, eventually working under founder Andre Harrell as an A&R rep, helping to develop acts like Jodeci, and Mary J. Blige. In 1993 with continuous problems arising from trying to control the rebellious youngster and disagreements on creative direction of acts like Heavy D and The Notorious B.I.G., Harrell fired combs. Shortly thereafter Combs established Bad Body Records, taking B.I.G. with him. He soon landed a $10 million deal with Arista Records and launched the career of The Notorious B.I.G., who would eventually be widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Today Comb’s estimated net worth is approximately $735 million, deriving from his ventures in music, spirits, clothing, media, and startups, which include clothing line - Sean John, alkaline water brand – Aquahydrate, tequila brand - DeLeon and a huge stakes in multi-platform television network - Revolt. In an ironic turn of events, after Andre Harrell was fired as the head of Motown in 1997, Combs brought him on as president of Bad Boy. Harrell is currently still serving under Diddy as Vice Chairman of Revolt. Combs was once quoted as saying: “I’ma shake the game up. I’ma make MCA and Andre regret firing me.” I would say mission accomplished and in the famous words of Diddy himself, “Take that. Take that.”

 

JK Rowling Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling - Author, Harry Potter

At one point in her life mega-successful author J.K. Rowling was just a single mother living on welfare trying her hardest to make ends meet. She’d once worked as a Secretary for Amnesty International but was fired after spending too much of her time day dreaming about being a writer. In her own words: “I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

In 1990 she came up with the idea for Harry Potter while on a delayed train. Her first book was written on an old manual typewriter. It took her five years to complete the book about the adventures of the young wizard and it would take an additional two years before the book would be published. In 1997 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. The book would climb it’s way to the top of the New York Times best-selling fiction list by 1999 and remain there for much of that year and into the next. Today the Harry Potter series is the best-selling book series in history with sales of more than 450 million copies worldwide. From welfare to near billionaire, J.K. Rowling has earned a seat among the richest women in the world and is reported to have an estimated net worth just under $1 billion.

 

Steve Jobs Apple

 

Steve Jobs – Co-founder/CEO, Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Together they would deliver the Apple I and Apple II personal computers. Life was good. The Apple II dominated the personal computer market and Apple was winning accolades like "Machine of the Year", a Time Magazine alternative to "Person of the Year". And then... enter stage left, Bill Gates and Microsoft circa 1981. The introduction of cheap IBM-PC clones that ran on Microsoft MS-DOS destabilized Apple. As the Windows user interface improved, it increasingly took more and more market share from Apple. With the board planning to oust Jobs from the Macintosh group and render him powerless (read: fire him), he resigned from Apple in 1985 and started NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in state of the art, higher end computers for higher-education and business markets.

Whadd'a ya know, by 1997 Apple was nearly bankrupt and found itself at the mercy of Jobs. Apple would purchase NeXT from Jobs and the NeXTSTEP platform would eventually become the foundation for Mac OS X. Steve retruned to Apple as interim CEO and ultimately CEO, returning the company back to profitability by 1998. In 2005 Jobs was quoted as saying: "I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

 

Bill Gates 2

Bill Gates – Co-founder, Microsoft

While we’re on the subject of computer geeks and college dropouts, let’s talk about one Mr. Bill Gates. It’s widely known that Gates was a Harvard dropout but before that, actually at the tail end of his high school career, he and friends Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert started a company and began work on a project called Traf-O-Data. The company would build specialized computers for evaluating traffic flow data. The computer would allow for the data captured on paper tapes to be retrieved without having to unroll them and process them by hand. However, Traf-OData was a true failure and only one functional machine was ever sold. Bummer.

Allen notes that "Traf-O-Data was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later. We taught ourselves to simulate how microprocessors work using DEC computers so we could develop software even before our machine was built." In Bill Gates’ own words: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

 

Walt Disney2

 

Walt DisneyCo-founder, Walt Disney Company

Disney dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen to join the army but was rejected for being too young. He moved on to plan B and joined the Red Cross where he drove an ambulance in France for a year. He moved back to Kansas City in 1919 to start his artistic career. In what is probably the most ironic of his failures, legend has it that Disney was fired from The Kansas City Star because in his editor’s opinion, he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." Dude? However, according to The Kansas City Star, he applied for a permanent job with The Star as a cartoonist, clerk and even truck driver - but the newspaper turned him down each time.

Disney would later acquire Laugh-O-Gram, an animation studio, which he ended up driving into bankruptcy because of his inability to run a successful business. Finally, he and his brother moved to Hollywood, California and began producing successful cartoons including Alice comedies and Mickey Mouse. His success to follow would include development of Disney Studios, Disneyland, Disney World and EPCOT among others. Imagine that!

 

Anna Wintour

Anna WintourEditor, Vogue Magazine

Even the devil wears failure. Wintour landed a job as a junior fashion editor at renown magazine, Harper’s Bazaar in 1975. What more fabulous way would there be for a girl to start her career in fashion? Now if only she wasn’t fired after a measly nine months of working there. Her edgy shoots may have impressed some but editor Tony Mazzola wasn’t among them. Her next opportunity was as an editor at Viva, a women’s adult magazine. After that publication was shut down she had stints at Savy and New York before eventually ending up at Vogue in the early eighties where she’s reigned ever since. She’s described getting fired as a great learning experience even going so far as to say: "Everyone should be sacked at least once in their career because perfection doesn't exist. It's important to have setbacks, because that is the reality of life."

 

Oprah3

Oprah WinfreyChairwoman and CEO, Harpo Productions

Winfrey got her start as an evening news anchor for local Baltimore station, WJZ-TV. After only seven and a half months as co-anchor she was fired for becoming too emotionally involved in the stories. What? Oprah? Emotional? No? Heartbroken, her next position was a much lower-profile role reading news headlines on a morning segment. She would eventually go on to host “Baltimore is Talking” which became a hit and then on to host a low-rated, half-hour morning talk show called “AM Chicago” in 1984. The show quickly became the highest rated talk show in Chicago. Oprah eventually parlayed these opportunities into the Oprah Winfrey Show and well, you know how the story goes from there. All the rest of the world could do was sit back and watch as she built her empire. She revolutionized the talk show industry and we ate it up like fresh apple pie, emotions and all.

Black and white stripe skater dress pink heels 8439

For my outfit for the NU You Empowerment Brunch I decided to combine fun and flirty with classic and feminine. I had this dainty piece sitting in the back of my closet for a while now. When I heard about this event, I immediately thought this skater dress would be perfect. It’s got a vibe that says brunch in an old New York feel that’s a little bit Audrey Hepburn and a little Sarah Jessica Parker.

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Black and white stripe skater dress pink heels 8489

Black and white stripe skater dress pink heels 8488

Black and white stripe skater dress pink heels collage

 

I turned down the traditional and turned up the memorable with not-so-subtle pops of pink, actually, hot pink. I love throwing a black and white outfit for a loop with the addition of a bold, unapologetic color. I borrowed the ribbon belt from another dress and can't quite remember where I picked up the little clutch but the contrast of these items and my pink shoes, and necklace against the black came together perfectly to create a nearly effortless ensemble that still demands attention.

  • Dress: Love…Ady Striped Lower Teacup Dress
  • Shoes: ALDO Forquer Hot Pink Heel

Nu You Empowerment Brunch Cyn Santana 8632

This past weekend I attended the NU YOU Empowerment Brunch. The event was a collaboration between Cyn Santana, reoccurring cast member on the reality show Love and Hip Hop New York and local marketing agency, Socially Loud.

Held at the Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami, NU YOU drew in young professionals from various walks of life. These entrepreneurs, business professionals, entertainment industry types, and creative types came together for a day filled with empowering messages, entertainment, good food, shopping and more.

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Outfit details to follow.

The event opened with a networking lounge with sweet treats and mimosas served. In the foyer, attendees took advantage of photo ops along the red carpet and gold chevron pattern backdrop with fun props. A slew of vendors lined the room, providing and highlighting products and services like, art, jewelry, clothing, makeup and more.

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Artist, Simply Jess

 

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Brunch commenced with sounds by DJ Mili Beats and was followed by live performances by singers, spoken word artists and dancers from N.O.L.A., Nest of Living Arts from Miramar, FL. The entertainers did a great job of getting the audience fired up for the panel discussion that would follow, particularly the cover of R. Kelly’s World’s Greatest, which brought the crowd to their feet.

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NU You Empowerment Brunch Cyn Santana 8588

 

The panel, which was was moderated by Johanne Wilson (President/Partner, Cool Creative, Inc.) featured Cyn Santana and included local influencers such as Shyann Malone (Anchor, ABC Local 10 News), Monica Reyes (Partner, RKE Law Group), John Owens, III ( Partner, K&L Gates, LLP), Brittany Gath (Life Coach & Clinical Family Therapy), David Mcdermott (Owner/Broker, H&M Realty Group), and Michael Hall (Founder, Digital Grass). The overall theme of the discussion was empowerment. What does it mean? How do we become empowered and how to deal with the obstacles that keep you from becoming empowered.

NU You Empowerment Brunch Cyn Santana 8616

There were two ideas/statements that stood out to me overall. The first came from Monica Reyes, a former victim of domestic violence as she urged the audience to stop using what she called “victim language”.  The point being, you put yourself in a position to lose if you keep viewing yourself as a victim versus the victor.  The next idea came from Michael Hall in reference to entrepreneurship: “What makes you authentic? Monetize that and that’s your business.”

 

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Left to Right: Latosia Colton, Supa Cindy, Felicia Monet

Following the panel discussion Felisha Monet and Supa Cindy, radio personalities from local radio station, 99 Jamz briefly delivered some inspiring words to the audience sharing some personal stories including Supa Cindy’s battle with Lupus along with career setbacks and comebacks. They invited up Latosia Colton, of the super-popular eatery, Finga Licking who also shared her inspiring personal story of starting with zero business knowledge and learning several tough business lessons the hard way but persevering in the end.

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Cyn Santana closed out the brunch with a fashion show presentation featuring items from her new fashion line, NU. The line, which includes options for the plus size woman, primarily featured pieces in neutral tones.  The style of the collection was characteristic of the twenty-something set, dominated by figure-hugging fits with ruching and bare midriffs.

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Event organizer Randa Quraan and partner Subelette Hernandez

Overall, it was a lovely event. Organizers did a wonderful job of pulling all of the elements together. Inspiring messages, good food, good company, fashion, and libations flowed. What more could a girl ask for? The brunch was billed as a “first annual” so I’m looking forward to seeing how this event progresses in the future. As for this year, job well done. See below for more photos from the day's events.

 

woody selfie feeling myself social tag

Beyoncé and Nicki might have said it best: “Feeling myself. I’m feeling myself”.  Today I acknowledge my awesomeness and I think you all should too. Talents, looks, smarts, success, character, whatever you have going for you that you don’t often take the time to recognize, why not recognize it now. Radiate some of that positive, self-assuring energy and draw more of that energy in.  This is what I’m doing today. So no, I’m not being pretentious or cocky; I’m just feeling myself, feeling myself and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Top companies for women climbing the ladder wide

We all know women are under represented when it comes to holding leadership positions in corporate America but there are a few companies who are raising the bar.   I stumbled upon a Forbes article from early this year, which gave a great run down of some of the companies where women are really making some moves. Here are some of the companies in the top 10:

Abbott:

Percentage of employees who are women: 47%
Percentage of senior managers who are women: 42%

Ernst & Young:

Percentage of employees who are women: 46%
Percentage of senior managers who are women: 46%

Marriott:

Percentage of employees who are women: 54%
Percentage of senior managers who are women: 40%

State Farm:

Percentage of employees who are women: 59%
Percentage of senior managers who are women: 39%

*Also noted on the list were General Mills, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Mass Mutual Finance Group, and Procter & Gamble.

 

So senior management is great but what about afterwards? I would guess that even at these great companies there’s likely a very significant drop off when we look at director level and above. The NY Times notes that women make up only 16 percent of directors at Fortune 500 companies, 4 percent of chief executives at Standard & Poor’s 500 companies and 10 percent of chief financial officers at S&P 500 companies1. So while there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the senior management tunnel, it’s still pretty dim if you’re attempting to look further than that.  However, the positive Patty in me maintains that while it’s difficult to get there, it’s important to remember that it isn’t impossible.  And between you and me, if making it to the top of your Fortune 500 isn’t for you, you could always work on building your own Fortune 500. Hmmm… some food for thought.

 

To read more on the top 10 visit:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2015/03/03/ten-great-companies-for-women-in-2015/

 

Thank you for reading. Now… "Let the power moves continue."

 

1 http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/why-so-few-women-reach-the-executive-rank/?_r=0