After 25 years succeeding in male-dominated industries, competing in Ironman competitions and being a global traveler, Rhonda Vetere now finds herself as the chief technology officer at famed cosmetics giant Estée Lauder, a role that includes global leadership across 162 countries. Yet despite her corporate success — she spearheaded the transformation of Estée Lauder’s IT capabilities into a digital environment at a record industry pace, without business disruption, around the world, saving $28 million a year — more important to her is her work with OnTheDotWoman.com, where she empowers and inspires other women to be the best they can be.
My first job ever was… A lifeguard. I started off working as a junior lifeguard and have been working ever since, even during all of my college days. I always have worked and never stopped.
I chose my career path because… It is intriguing and always changing. Bottom line: I enjoy leading people no matter where they are in the world.
My proudest accomplishment is… I’m honored to have received the top woman executive leader by the Stevie awards for transforming businesses around the world and top STEM in Industry, however, for me, there’s nothing like helping to advance people’s careers and promote them to higher heights! I love helping people make their career goals come true.
My boldest move to date was… Moving out of the country for my career in the middle of the world financial crisis to take an assignment overseas to help in the financial industry.
I surprise people when I tell them… I have traveled more overseas and spent the majority of my career internationally than in the USA. I enjoy working in different cultures. In addition, I love training for triathlons and ironman competitions while working around the world.
My best advice to people starting their career is… Take the assignment that pushes you out of your comfort zone, and move, don’t be siloed! Move to New York City or a foreign country at one point in your life.
My best advice from a mentor was… Learn to play golf!
I would tell my 20-year old self… Appreciate the experiences, pause and take in the moments. Don’t over schedule and set boundaries for time for yourself. Be around people that give you energy, not drain your energy.
“Appreciate the experiences, pause and take in the moments.”
My biggest setback was… Growing up and seeing that it was normal for everyone to stay at one company for 20-30 years.
I overcame it by… Moving geographically around the world and changing industry and jobs throughout my career. I listened to my gut on what was right.
Work/life balance is… What you make of it. There is no magic pill for work/life balance. Everyone makes choices in their life, and knowing when to say “No” to something is a strength. Remember, when you say no, you say “yes” to something else.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I plan my race competition schedule a year in advance for half marathons, marathons, triathlons and Ironman races. Swimming is my strongest sport in the triathlon.
I stay inspired by… Helping others and making a difference in the world. My family and friends inspire me and I always turn to them for grounding. I am a very loyal person and love being around people along the life journey and love seeing people grow/reinvent themselves.
The future excites me because… We are alive and anything is possible! It’s what you make of each day that is important.
My next step is… I want to continue with a women supporting women movement and make a difference in the world. My focus is on health, wellness and fitness through technology and being a corporate athlete in and out of the Boardroom. My focus is with the OnTheDot Woman advisory board, bringing things to the forefront and continuing across the world to be the female C-suite leader that young women starting their career can look up to, and letting them know that it can be done with speaking your mind, hard work and getting out of your comfort zone!