Closing The Gap

Starbucks' Rosalind Brewer shares the No. 1 thing companies need to be successful

Rosalind Brewer has been climbing the corporate ladder for more than 20 years, holding roles at Kimberly Clark, Walmart and Sam's Club, of which she was CEO. Today, she's the chief operating officer at Starbucks.

She's learning a new corporate culture at the coffee giant, one she says suits her well. "This culture matches who I am as an individual — it's amazing to bring my head and heart to work," she says.

Brewer is also on one of the most diverse boards in corporate America at Starbucks, and believes diversity is key to corporate success. Different voices at the table, she says, mean richer conversations and faster solutions.

She has one piece of advice for women looking to climb the corporate ladder: Stay the course.

"Stay steadfast," she says, "the opportunities are great. There are still situations that are quite complicated, but I am so encouraged when I meet young women, how much energy they have and how much they've learned growing up."

Don't miss: 3 things to know about Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks' first female and African-American COO

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