Jodi Allen | Bachelor of Science in business administration, 1987 | Director of Information Technology, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, for Procter & Gamble
World Traveler | A 16-year Procter & Gamble employee, Allen was transferred in June to Geneva, Switzerland, where she, her husband, nanny and four children are living for three years.
The Great Communicator | As director of information technology for P&G’s operations in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Allen is responsible for company communications in 104 countries.
No Accident | She once held a conference call from the scene of an accident she was in, asking the police officer if he could wait to fill out the report until she was finished. Another time she made a conference call at 3:00 a.m. to a client in Asia from her car, which was parked in the garage, so she wouldn’t wake up her family.
Definitely Type A | Allen jets around Europe, Africa, the Middle East and back and forth to the United States for business, working 50-70 hours a week.
The Optimist | Allen says she’s not a whip-cracker but a collaborator. “I would never call myself an aggressive person. I think of myself as a curious optimistic to a fault. I always think there’s got to be a way to make something work. Understanding people and what motivates them is the way to develop things that make a difference.”
Time Out | She says no job is worth neglecting her family for, so she makes time to spend with her son, 12, and three daughters, ages 10, 8 and 7. Weekend outings, such as a skating trip at Lake Geneva, are common. Dinners are taken together at least three times a week.
Priorities | “I’m clear about what I can and can’t do, and I don’t worry about it. What I don’t get done, oh well. Does it really matter if the house isn’t perfectly decorated? Do the kids really care if I made the dinner or not? I don’t think so. I’m a firm believer in shortcuts on things that aren’t important.”
Duty Calls | Sometimes, though, work intervenes on weekends when she’s with her kids. So rather than leave them behind, she’s been known to pile them all in the car and head to the office where they play while she works. They don’t seem to mind.
Perfect Blend | “I like to think the kids are pretty business astute. They understand what profit is. I do think my home life and work life are merged together. I have a fantastic husband, and he likes the fact I work. We have found a way to be successful. It’s not mine versus his, but as a family. It’s working for us.”