Top Women Profile: Tabata Gomez

A professional journey from cosmetics to power tools.

Growing up in Mexico, Tabata Gomez dreamed of helping people by becoming Secretary General of the United Nations. Though life has taken her in different direction, she is using her role as Chief Marketing Officer, Global Tools and Storage at Stanley Black & Decker to help bring diversity and gender equality to the hardware industry. After spending almost 14 years marketing cosmetics and other products with Procter & Gamble and then Coty, Inc., she came to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017, immediately piloting a successful re-launch of the Craftsman brand. In this interview with HBSDealer, Gomez shares some of the challenges she has faced, her pride in Stanley Black & Decker’s growing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the lessons she’d like to pass on to her son about achieving success in the workplace. 

Tabata Gomez, Stanley Black & Decker.

On the transition from cosmetics to power tools

"From a marketing standpoint, it’s exactly the same approach. I focus on the consumer or end user and providing experiences that delight them. It’s about addressing their needs and being tactical. I didn’t know a lot about tools prior to joining the company, but through my years here, I’ve learned a lot. Just last weekend, my boyfriend and I were doing some work in the house, and there I was, cutting two by fours and doing plumbing and dry wall, putting my new skills to work. It’s just something I had never had a chance to explore in the past." 

On re-launching the Craftsman brand, her first task at Stanley Black & Decker: 

"That was probably one of the biggest challenges in my career, but also one of my biggest accomplishments. What I did was make sure everyone understood the vision for what Craftsman was going to be, which made it a lot easier for them to rally around and be able to move their pieces of the project forward.  

"My proudest accomplishment on Craftsman was really making the brand relevant again, as well as and what we made the brand stand for. The tagline, 'We build pride,' has helped us to shape this amazing brand that has grown to soon become a one-billion-dollar brand."

On the changing mindset at Stanley Black & Decker: 

"In my earlier days at the company, we were getting ready to do a major trade show and I got a call asking for my shirt size so they could give me a shirt for the show. I said, “I appreciate the effort, but I will be wearing a black dress that looks very presentable for a woman executive and a pin with the Stanley Black & Decker logo. I won’t be wearing a men’s shirt and khakis going forward because I don’t think that’s inclusive of how I feel comfortable as a woman dressing for these types of events.” Really, all I did was challenge the status quo and that unconscious bias, and it opened peoples’ minds."

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On the company’s commitment to diversity in the workplace: 

"When I accepted the job, the leadership team in Global Tools and Storage only had one female leader. Today, this leadership team is 60 percent diverse, which is a huge difference in three years. At Stanley Black & Decker, we have a saying that “success for women means success for everyone,” and our company truly embodies that statement by actively working on gender parity strategies that we have put in place, including developing female mentorship programs, sponsorship opportunities, mitigating bias trainings, inclusion and flexibility, and several female leadership initiatives.

"The best thing is that in 2019, our CEO Jim Loree signed on to Paradigm for Parity, a coalition that commits to closing the gender gap in corporate leadership by 2030. It’s a big commitment, but we do have actions that are happening all across the company to enable that. One quote that our CEO says a lot is, “Those who make the world need the creativity of an inclusive and collaborative team, because when you shut down the voice of one, you lose the power of all.” That always gives me goosebumps when I hear it."

On what she has learned from six-year-old son Alexander, and what she hopes to teach him: 

"About a month ago, he told me that at school they were working on stereotypes. When I probed and asked him, “What is a stereotype?” he gave me the example of, girls like pink, and boys like blue, saying, “Girls and boys can like any color.” At this point, it is about helping him keep that open mindset, but I do hope as he grows older and understands more about the world, I can be a role model for him and continue to demonstrate that anybody can achieve success in the workplace – even a Mexican woman working in Corporate America in the tools industry."