A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
JACQUELINE WILLIAMS-ROLL GENERAL MILLS
Title: Senior vice president of global human resources operations
Jacqueline Williams-Roll is working to build “one undeniable General Mills culture worldwide” as the company’s new senior vice president of global human resources operations. Williams-Roll, who has nearly 20 years’ experience at General Mills, previously was vice president of human resources for General Mills International. She succeeded Mike Davis, working alongside him for a year before his retirement in August. She has worked in human resources for several international divisions, and is the first woman to serve as the head of global human resources at General Mills.
“I bring a different perspective to the table,” Williams-Roll said. “This diversity of thought and approach is especially important for General Mills, where the majority of our consumers are women. … It’s important to me to have the perspective and those interests and experiences of not only being a woman but being a working mom.”
Williams-Roll said she aims to mentor and coach women to help them “grow and reach their personal aspirations,” noting that only 14 percent of the highest-level senior executives in Fortune 500 companies are women. Williams-Roll has a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
Q: What are your priorities in leading global human resources at General Mills?
A: My No. 1 priority is to help General Mills be the very best company it can be. … We focus on three things to do that: having competitively superior talent around the world, helping General Mills be the best big small company, building one undeniable General Mills culture worldwide.
Q: How has your international experience influenced your approach to human resources management?
A: There are universal truths for all employees. They want to learn and develop. They want to work for a great manager. They want to see purpose and significance in their work. They want to work for a company that has a mission and a set of values that they can believe in. It is just as important to understand that bringing those ideas, those principles to life needs to be done locally.
Q: What inspired your career in human resources?
A: What I came to appreciate is how important the human equation is to the success of a business. … The one thing that cannot be replicated is your company culture. … I love being in this field because you truly are at the center of the equation.