This International Women’s Day, there’s reason to be optimistic.

Looking around the world – I see women of all ages standing up for what they believe in and speaking their minds on what’s important to them.  They’re making a difference, opening the door to conversations that were once shunned.

Looking around the executive conference room – I see a Tyson Foods leadership team more diverse than it was just a year ago, including three women in top positions, guiding the future of America’s largest food company.  Our consumer empathy is stronger today because of our unique perspectives.

Looking at the snaps I’ve exchanged with my 17-year-old daughter Isabel (yes, Snapchat is our most frequent form of communication during the week!) – I see a young woman more graceful and confident than I ever was, eagerly anticipating college and feeling empowered to pursue any career she chooses.  

I’m grateful my daughter is stepping out into the world today vs. years ago, but I know we can make even more progress toward parity.  It starts with each of us – women and men – and the examples we set.  While I don’t have all of the answers (which Isabel will quickly confirm!), here are a few nuggets I’ve shared with her lately:

  • Remember not to be too hard on yourself.  The world will do that for you.
  • Remember that humility is not the opposite of confidence.  Humility is about listening and learning to grow.
  • Remember that kindness is the most significant “thing” you can give another person.
  • Remember that when you fail (and you will fail!), you can ask for help.  Strong people ask.
  • Remember to be bold.  Be silly.  Seek the remarkable.  Take chances.  Because, everything will turn out ok.  (In most cases, more than ok!)
  • And remember, only you can control your happiness.  It’s your choice each and every day.

I’ll admit: I have to remind myself of these nuggets too.  Remembering the little bits of wisdom we’ve all picked up over time, let’s choose to be uniquely ourselves and to help shape a world that values everyone for their uniqueness.  

Let’s make it so that next year, we have even more reasons to be optimistic.  

Taking another look around, I see that the most important woman in my life is indeed optimistic.  Change is happening before her eyes.  Be the difference, I tell her – an extra nugget as she creates her own path.

Published: Mar 8, 2018.

Group President of Prepared Foods at

Sally Grimes is group president, prepared foods for Tyson Foods, responsible for nearly $10 billion of the company's $40 billion business worldwide. Sally oversees almost half of Tyson Foods’ production facilities, more than 20,000 team members, as well as the company's rapid growth, innovation, insights, R&D, culinary and foodservice teams. Sally is a member of Tyson Foods’ enterprise leadership team and reports to President and CEO Noel White.

Throughout her career, Sally has introduced new brands while spearheading the growth of dozens of iconic brands, from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to Sharpie. Today, she leads Tyson Foods’ three billion-dollar brands—Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Tyson—delivering top and bottom line growth while reshaping the segment for the future of food. Sally’s focus on people’s needs, and her willingness to rethink business and brand models to meet them, has led to a track record of revenue and profit growth.

Sally previously served as president, international and chief global growth officer for the company. She came to Tyson Foods with the acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company in 2014 where she served as chief innovation officer and president of the Gourmet Food Group. Sally spent more than a decade at Kraft Foods in brand management, and then transitioned to take Sharpie markers from “commodity to community” as she led the digital transformation of the brand as global vice president of marketing at Newell Rubbermaid.

Sally was named Fortune 2018 Most Powerful Women to Watch, Crain’s Chicago Business 2018 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business, and Fast Company Most Creative People in Business. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and serves on the Board of Directors of the Midtown Educational Association supporting low-income youth. She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.