HPW’s Inspiring Women series profiles remarkable Greek-American professional women whose stories of success inspire and encourage us to achieve our own career goals and aspirations.
Senior Vice President, Global Talent
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
Dimitra Manis is the SVP of Global Talent for The Estée Lauder companies. She is a progressive thought-leader with over 25 years of global experience in Human Resources, focusing on transforming the Human Resources organization into a results-driven, business-focused collaborative team. Prior to joining The Estée Lauder Companies in 2014, Dimitra held senior leadership roles in Thomson Reuters, OpenLink and AXA Group, where she transformed talent strategy and succession planning globally. Dimitra also held HR leadership roles at Nike, Village Roadshow, Nortel, and ANZ Bank. She has traveled widely and worked in many countries including Australia, Hong Kong, France and United States. In recent years, Dimitra has transformed herself into a New Yorker, enjoying the city’s culinary pleasures and cultural activities with her family.
What are a few tips for getting your resume noticed when applying for jobs?
Make sure it’s clear and easy for recruiters to find what they’re looking for – especially your skill set and accomplishments. Put your most relevant experience at the top of your resume. And go through internal referrals to make a personal introduction to the role you are interested.
What are some important but often overlooked Do’s and Dont’s of the interview process?
Show confidence and not arrogance. Be yourself and dress appropriately for the company and the role that you are applying for. Think about your audience and who you are interviewing with when preparing for your upcoming interview. I would suggest to not bring up pay or vacation days. And do not show up late!
When there is a conflict with another person in the workplace, what is the best way to approach and confront the situation with the other person?
Communication is key – have an open conversation to resolve it using a calm, non-defensive, respectful and professional manner. Seek compromise.
Any tips on how to go about asking difficult questions to your manager. (Ex: pay increase, more responsibility, less responsibility etc.)
Be honest and think through your approach – think about your current responsibilities and your performance beforehand. Have an open dialogue with your manager, speak to your strengths/achievements or added responsibilities.
As a manager, what is the key to retaining talent and keeping an employee happy and motivated in their job?
As a manager, the key is to give the employee meaningful work/opportunities to develop and grow; and to give constructive and honest feedback. Thanking talent sincerely and recognizing them for their great work is also important.
What is the one ‘people skill’ that most people can improve upon?
Communication – just when you think it is good enough, it isn’t. And humility – you can never have enough!
What are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to move laterally within a company or to find a position outside the company?
For lateral moves think about the opportunities that exist within the company. What roles have opened up? What role is suitable for you? Is this what you want for your future growth and development? Also, gain support from your manager within the company. It’s likely that you will need manager support to move laterally. For non-lateral moves, is the position outside a better position for your professional development? Speak to someone from that company for a better understanding of the role and the culture of the company.
Any tips for professionals on work/life balance?
It is important to have an understanding manager and to work in a progressive company. Everyone’s needs are different, so you can dial up and dial down to suit your needs. I would suggest to understand your priorities in life and find time for the most important things – for me, family always comes first.
How do you communicate impactfully while remaining authentic and true to yourself?
Always be professional and show humility no matter what level you are at. Communication is key to both personal and professional lives, and something to practice throughout life – so listen, listen, listen. And think about your audience – show that you care and are passionate about your message. What are their needs? How will they benefit?
What are your thoughts on the importance of mentorship? Do you have a mentor?
Mentors are super important. Everyone will need mentorship at all stages of life and career. For me, a mentor is someone who provides guidance and support. And is someone you can talk through ideas with and helps make suggestions regarding a difficult situation.
You can find mentors anywhere; I would encourage everyone to look beyond the work environment. Search for someone you respect, have a connection with, and aspire to be as. I have had several mentors throughout the stages of my career.
What do you personally do to de-stress and relax?
Different people do different things to de-stress. Personally, I find energy when I spend time with my family and friends. I also pray and go to church to find spiritual enrichment to maintain the right balance.
What impact has your Greek heritage had on your career and professional life?
Everything. My faith, my family, Greek school, food, music, Cretan dancing has all had an impact on my life. My parents were immigrants and worked super hard 24/7. They taught me how to stay focused, work hard and be true to myself.
Are you involved with the Greek community in New York? If so, how?
Yes, I am on the board of The Cathedral School, Holy Trinity on 74th Street. It is a fabulous school with great teachers and students. We are proud of our student’s accomplishments.
Favorite Greek restaurant in New York? Favorite Greek dish? Favorite Greek island?
My mother-in-law, Dina Manis is the best Greek Chef around! When dining out, I love Pylos and Kolari in Manhattan. My favorite Greek dish is anything with eggplant. For lunch, I love Souvlaki GR too! And my favorite Greek island is Crete, of course!
If you can give one piece of advice to women regarding their professional lives, what would it be?
Be real to yourself, find your passion, be curious, and don’t stop learning.