What advice would you give your younger self?
To believe in yourself more. A lack of confidence and lack of self-love has always been my Achilles heel, as it is for so many women. When I was younger, I wasn’t even aware of it holding me back, so I didn’t or couldn’t tackle it. Rather I let life’s natural aging process take care of it. Turning 40 this year has definitely allowed me to turn a corner and understand my self-worth! I wish I’d been able to unlock that earlier in life.
What’s the biggest risk you have taken?
Postponing maternity leave of my second son to see through the relaunch of Axe. What if I regretted giving up that precious time? What if the relaunch didn’t work and it didn’t pay back for my career? These were the big questions I debated before taking the plunge and heading back to work weeks after giving birth. Luckily, the risks were worth it. Axe is back and my beautiful son, now 18 months, is a shining and happy embodiment of believing in myself.
What should the industry do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
There is a lot that needs to be done. Starting with training at every level to ensure everyone understands why this is so necessary and important. Then, holding top management accountable with clear targets for women and people of color, which are business imperatives, not vanity projects. Strong mentoring and coaching programs are essential. But also, we need to rethink how we evaluate and recruit talent in the first place.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you do and why?
I would combine my love for fashion and my passion for kitesurfing to create my own fashion line.