Beyond the brand that might be most recognized for plastic storage containers found in most kitchens is a movement that is transforming the lives of women in its sales force worldwide. In fact, this “Tupperware Effect” has nearly 3 million members around the world and offers a powerful earning opportunity to women who might have very limited prospects in their lives.
When Nicole Decker first joined Tupperware Brands in 2000, her background in accounting landed her a position in the internal audit group, where she traveled around the globe conducting audits at its sales offices and manufacturing locations. It was utterly surprising when she found out that this company was leveraging its brand to transform lives worldwide.
A recent study of its sales force in Indonesia found that 99 percent of Indonesian women report that their lives have changed for the better after working with Tupperware for the last three years. They attributed it to increased financial status, more self confidence in their abilities as professionals and homemakers, and greater respect at home and in the community.
“In particular, the financial benefits of selling Tupperware can be transformational, moving families into new income brackets, and the social and professional benefits are dramatic – women experience a conversion from housewives with few activities outside the home to career women with pursuits, goals, dreams and plans to achieve them,” Decker explained.
While Decker possesses a strong analytical side that her past positions in accounting and finance required, she has been drawn to the more creative skills that she uses in her current position. Early on in her career, Decker decided to be open to any and all new opportunities. It is a choice that has allowed her to transform her roles at Tupperware many times. Now, as vice president of strategy, she leads a team that is responsible for understanding opportunities and risks in individual markets and identifying strategic initiatives to support long-term sales and profit growth.
With wisdom and insight, Decker shared that the biggest internal obstacle that she faced in her career was the early belief that “if I did a good job and stayed focused on my work, I would be successful.” While being successful in any career builds a foundation of technical competence, there is also so much more.
“I’ve also been successful by developing strong relationships, speaking up and promoting my ideas, and letting others know about my accomplishments. I think women often aren’t taught to talk about their accomplishments, but it’s essential to let others know what we’ve achieved and how we’ve added value to the organization,” said Decker, whose favorite quote is “Attitude is everything!”