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“Create a culture of belonging” With Tammy Perkins CPO at PMI

Create a culture of belonging. Show your team how much they matter, individually and collectively, every chance you get. Develop an open and inclusive dialogue with your team and proactively seek out input from the missing voices to spark new ideas and perspective. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tammy Perkins, Chief People Officer of […]


Create a culture of belonging. Show your team how much they matter, individually and collectively, every chance you get. Develop an open and inclusive dialogue with your team and proactively seek out input from the missing voices to spark new ideas and perspective.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Tammy Perkins, Chief People Officer of Pacific Market International. Tammy leads Human Resources for PMI’s family of brands including Stanley, Aladdin, Slant and Migo.

Prior to PMI, Tammy had significant HR leadership roles at Amazon, Microsoft, Appen, and Fjuri during periods of high growth and transformation. Tammy is an experienced executive coach and a successful builder of global teams, with passion around employee experience, organizational development, diversity and culture.

She is also a thought leader in the space, regularly writing on leadership, HR and career trends for media outlets including Glassdoor, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, among others.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I majored in HR and organizational communication courses at Ohio University. After I took a diversity and inclusion class, I decided to pursue a career in HR. I was inspired and empowered to break the glass ceiling as a female leader and make my voice count.

I am passionate about coaching, building people capability, attracting and developing talent. My experience has provided me with the opportunity to leverage my passion.

I gained HR experience working in Fortune 100 and high-tech start-up companies. I’ve worked for large companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, and for startups. I was at Amazon for 13 years, where I started as HR Manager and then Senior HR Leader roles for a variety of clients, including customer service, operations, sales, ecommerce and engineering during a period of significant growth. Then I joined Microsoft as HR Director for Windows Phone and led HR for Windows Marketing and Customer Services and Support. I went from working in business units within larger companies to leading the entire HR functions in startup environments.

I joined Pacific Market International in October 2018 as the Chief People Officer. My role as Chief People Officer is to set the global HR strategies to enable a culture that will support the growth of our business. I am honored and humbled to lead HR for this amazing company.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

At Pacific Market International, we provide consumers with stylish, sustainable and eco-friendly products. In addition to the quality of our products, two of the biggest standout areas for PMI is our global team, made up of highly passionate leaders across offices, as well as our company values — focused on teamwork and accountability to the local communities we serve.

In addition to our products, our vibrant culture is what makes us stand out. We foster an open and collaborative environment for our employees to deliver great products to our customers. I recently visited our offices across China and Brazil and it’s incredible to see the team collaboration around the world.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Share your voice. Your voice is the unique character that differentiates you. When you let others know what is in your heart and mind, your passion will shine through. Share ideas, invite dialogue and leverage your team’s wisdom.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My husband, Brian. He is my biggest champion. In HR, you take care of people and culture, and don’t always look after yourself the way you should. Brian looks out for me.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

One of the biggest areas where I think I have made an impact in my career is helping to establish a positive and collaborative culture at the companies I’ve worked for, while also coaching up-and-coming leaders, employees and friends on their career path and supporting them as they pursue new opportunities.

I also enjoy writing and have blogged on a range of leadership topics as I continue to follow my curiosity, express my point of view on trends, while also looking to learn from others.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned from My Experience” and why.

1. Be positive. Positivity fosters calm behavior, which leads to better interactions. Positive people achieve greater success because a positive mindset can influence and inspire others. You can be nice and still be courageous and influential.

2. Embrace feedback. Regard feedback as an opportunity to learn , rather than a character evaluation. Feedback is a valuable tool. It’s a recipe for how to succeed. Use it to your advantage to further your career development.

3. Seek development opportunities. Be fearlessly self-reflective about development opportunities. By reflecting on your strengths and areas you want to build more experience, you’re able to define a clearer roadmap of where you want to go and seek out opportunities in the right areas.

4. Create a culture of belonging. Show your team how much they matter, individually and collectively, every chance you get. Develop an open and inclusive dialogue with your team and proactively seek out input from the missing voices to spark new ideas and perspective.

5. Hire for culture add, not culture fit. Hire those who stand out, not those who fit in. Culture fit can perpetuate rather than challenge our biases. Culture can be intentionally shaped through diversity, inclusion and belonging. Innovation is fueled by different experiences and perspectives.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am passionate about equality. Think about the impact both men and women can achieve if we champion equality and inspire others through inclusion and belonging.

My goal as a female leader is to empower and connect others. I believe in mentoring and championing the success of others and repaying the debt of being taught by teaching others what I have learned.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

This quote captures how I try to live my life. It’s not enough to survive or have a successful career. Ultimately what matters is the relationships you build and the impact you create by collaborating with other people. I want to live my life with passion, but also with “some compassion, some humor and some style” as Maya so elegantly put.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tammyperkins/

Twitter: @TammyPerkinsHR

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammyp7191/

Thank you so much for these inspiring insights

Thank you for the opportunity!

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