When Meryl Zausner was 25 and working at Colgate Palmolive, she had the kind of moment so many women in business have. She was attending a planning meeting for a laundry detergent product-the only woman in the room-when a thought occurred to her. "I asked, 'Excuse me, have any of you ever done a load of laundry?'" Zausner recalls. "It turned out that not one of them had, and yet here they were, deciding on the global strategy for how women are going to do laundry."