How Did I Get Here?

Joyce Roché

Board member, AT&T, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Macy’s, Tupperware Brands
  • Education
  • McDonogh 35 Senior High School, New Orleans, class of 1965
  • Dillard University, New Orleans, class of 1970
  • Columbia Business School, class of 1972
  • Work Experience
  • 1973–79
    Associate merchandising planner; senior planner, Avon Products
  • 1979–81
    Director of marketing, Revlon
  • 1981–94
    Group director of marketing, fragrance and gifts; vice president, merchandising and product marketing; senior VP, U.S. marketing; VP, global marketing, Avon Products
  • 1995-98
    Executive VP, global products; president, Carson Products
  • 1999–2000
    Management consultant
  • 2000–10
    President and chief executive officer, Girls Incorporated
  • 2011–14
    Author, The Empress Has No Clothes
  • 2011–Present
    Board member, AT&T, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Macy’s, Tupperware Brands
  • Life Lessons
  • “You deserve a place at the table. Don’t let that voice of self-doubt rob you.”
  • “You have to be hard on issues, not hard on people.”
  • “I used to say I’d give back when I had time. You’re never gonna have time.”
  • At Columbia in 1972
    “I thought that my options were teaching, social work, or nursing, so I chose teaching math.”
  • With her study group at the Stanford Executive Leadership Program in 1991
  • “I was recruited for Polished Ambers, their line targeted for African American women, but the director for the Revlon brand didn’t show up, so they asked me.”
  • “Our African business was growing like gangbusters, and in the midst of doing a roadshow in South Africa to take the company public, we started working on an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.”
  • “I always had this little voice of self-doubt causing me to overprepare for everything. I learned that’s called imposter syndrome and wrote about overcoming it.”
  • With Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, Dorothy Height, and Avon colleague Jean Ford, in 1985
  • “Nobody who looked like me had ever been an officer at Avon.”
  • At Carson Products in 1996
    “A search firm approached me about joining an ethnic hair-care company that an investors’ group was buying. My contract called for me to be president in a year.”
  • “I wanted to do some real work with the nonprofit boards I sat on, because I never felt I had time to do anything.”
  • Roché just moved up to lead director at AT&T
  • With Hillary Clinton at Dillard University commencement in 2007