Career advice from franchise women leaders

Female leaders within the Pizza Hut franchisee community were asked to share their best advice, experiences, and stories to encourage other women in their career journey. Here’s what they had to say.

Monica R. Smith
Vice President of Real Estate
Grand Mere Restaurant Group

I have two pieces of advice that have helped me grow my career. One is a Maya Angelou quote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  My second piece of advice is to live and lead with courage, heart, humility and integrity. Those have been my mantra and have kept me authentic in my work.

I try to support other female leaders through recognition of their contributions in the workplace … to coach and encourage … and be supportive when they need a sounding board.

Vikki Hodgkins
Chief Financial Officer
CFL Pizza

When given a compliment, women are often quick to spread the praise to their colleagues. You have to be your own best advocate in the workplace. Take the compliments graciously. Figure out a way for your boss’s boss to know what work you are doing. Network with people in other departments. Take on a high-profile project. Get a mentor. You are an amazing, invaluable member of the organization, and you should make sure people know it!

Most of the women I know have an incredible ability to multi-task. They are managing their homes, their kids’ schedules, their own careers. Translating that into successfully juggling 200 emails and voicemails, two projects due next week, and an emergency request from your boss, makes you a superstar! At the same time, I have learned that I can’t do it all!  It’s hard to admit for a supreme multi-tasker and over-achiever like myself, but when you need some help, ask for it.  And more importantly, when you get the help you need, be willing to accept it.

Jennifer Zika
Vice President, Human Resources
HUT American Group

When starting or growing your career, don’t shy away from industries that may traditionally be viewed as male-dominated. We belong and can be successful wherever we choose to aim our talents. Have a voice and speak to add value to the conversation, not simply just to be heard. Don’t wait to be told what to do or be trained. Seek out the answers, find your resources, make partnerships, be self-motivated and self-managed.

My best mentor gave me a piece of advice that I think of often. “Know your [numbers] and everyone else’s in the room, too.” That simply means, over-prepare, and don’t just know what you are talking about, be educated on what others will be discussing so you can actively be a part of the whole conversation.

It is helpful to adapt to the situation in front of you; very little is black and white in business. Women tend to engage differently than men, and you often need to find a common ground that brings you closer to the conversation. Lean into forming professional relationships that help bridge that gap.

Lynda Carrier-Metz
Chief Marketing Officer
Restaurant Management Company

To be truly successful, you must invest time. Be willing to sacrifice. You cannot be two places at once and there will be times you wonder if you can get everything done. Prioritize. Make SURE to have a backup babysitter.

Bring your family along on your journey. I have always talked with my husband and my kids about what I do at work. And as they have grown in their respective careers, we continue these conversations. It speeds their learning curve and I now learn from them.

Volunteer for the jobs no one else wants. If you have your responsibilities covered, offer to help on things that aren’t as appealing. You will learn something new. And volunteer in your community so that you broaden your scope beyond what you do every day. Last, have a sense of humor. Don’t take yourself or others too seriously. 

Thanks, Monica, Vikki, Jennifer and Lynda for sharing your insights and advice and making us #PizzaHutProud!

You Might Also Like