Throughout Women’s History Month, we are spotlighting women employees who have helped strengthen our culture, push our business forward and help Molson Coors thrive. Cara Coffee is senior director, commercial excellence for Latin America, based in Texas.
Why is Women’s History Month/Internal Women’s Day special to you? How do you celebrate/recognize the month?
I love to hear the stories of great women leaders. I find their lives and impact very moving and, while I might not be a pioneer as many of these exemplary women were, they encourage us to be bold and true to ourselves. These are qualities that I hold dear, and as a mother, very much want to instill in my two daughters.
Celebrating diverse voices shouldn’t be limited to one month. How can people be strong allies throughout the entire year?
I appreciate that we do dedicate time to celebrating diversity, but I completely agree that this is something that we need to practice every day. For me, I think it is important that we take time to listen and learn about people as individuals. I feel fortunate to work on a team with very diversified backgrounds, and all those perspectives, ideas and experiences make us stronger as a team and organization.
As leaders we are not expected to always have the answer; that is why we hire and develop great people. I dedicate time and challenge myself to connect with the team and ask for opinions and perspectives from the team. I try to model this in meetings by asking questions, by coaching others to connect with other teammates to learn from their experiences and by conducting informal one on ones across the team to learn more about our team members, their work, aspirations and experiences.
Who is a female leader or role model you look up to and why?
My mother was a huge influence in my life. She always inspired me to follow my passions, supported me and built my confidence to go after opportunities. We all need a support system like this. She had an amazing life that certainly had a positive influence on me, such as her worldly perspective and curiosity. She was a Pam Am flight attendant for many years that gave her an appreciation for different places and cultures. But the main thing she did was build my confidence and enable me to become the person I am today. She was my biggest cheerleader. If I apply that to my life now, I ask myself how I am a cheerleader for my kids, my husband and my team at work; we all need cheerleaders supporting and encouraging us.
How do resources such our employee resource groups strengthen our first value of putting people first? How do they strengthen all of our values?
BREW, our women's-focused employee resource group, and our other ERGs at Molson Coors add tremendous value. Given that they are employee led, this certainly puts people first by creating environments that build our company culture and mindset. Additionally, I learn so much from the programming that these groups put together. So, without a doubt, BREW helps model our Learn Every Day value as well. No matter what topic I attend, I learn something or gain a new perspective. When possible, I purposefully take time after each ERG presentation to consider how I might apply or act on what I learned.
What would you say to women who are interested in pursuing a career at Molson Coors/beverage industry?
I have heard so many times that the beer industry is a good old boy’s club. But honestly, in my nearly two-decade career here I have never felt that. And yes, I have been the sole woman in some situations, but that has never made me feel uncomfortable. I have always felt I can be my true self and contribute equally. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such great people, both personally and professionally. We have a great organization full of amazing people which also includes many amazing women!