As a woman in today’s world, Deborah Woodward feels that understanding her environment, having people skills, and being able to do a variety of different jobs has contributed to her success. She started out in social work, but after discovering there wasn’t much of a market, she decided to go into the food and beverage industry. Ms. Woodward has served the Kraft Heinz Company for more than three decades now, and has steadily worked her way up the corporate ladder. One of the highlights of her time with the third-largest food and beverage company in North America was working with the first all female team to implement the ISO program for the entire organization.
The biggest challenge Ms. Woodward faced was being a female in a male-dominated industry. She found it very hard to find opportunities, which is why she has dedicated her time to bringing in and training women for leadership and management roles in food and beverage. Ms. Woodward feels that while it has gotten a lot better since she started, there is still a long way to go. As a member of The International Women’s Leadership Association, she would advise the younger generations to have confidence, stay true to their beliefs, and be honest.
Looking to the future, Ms. Woodward intends to retire in August 2016 and take up contracting work. She would also like to continue on with her mission to supply young women with all of the tools they need to thrive. When Ms. Woodward isn’t working, she enjoys kayaking.
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