“In the workplace, I aim to add value to any conversation and to work with confidence and not emotion…I try to make sure that everything is objective. I learn from this, and it’s the best strategy. You have to lead by example, to both men and women. I can be a tough leader, but a touch of grace is always helpful.”
What socio-political women’s issue do you care about the most? Do you feel that women are typically presented fairly in the media? Why or why not?
What women care about is equality, but most are limited in freedom and opportunities across the globe that. Unfortunately, we are not represented in a fair way in the media and are criticized by men. We should be supported in the media, and we should be allowed to fail.
What specific aspect of women’s rights in the US could we change to set an example to the world? What will it take (apart from time) for women to be viewed as equal to men?
For the media, in particular, we just need to make sure our points are taken seriously, because sometimes women’s issues are not taken with a high level of responsibility. Because I was raised in Italy in the middle of the wars, I looked at the U.S. as a leader in how to treat women. Those opportunities that we have of preserving freedom for women all around the world, because a lot of women don’t have these freedoms. Equal pay is also something we can strive to achieve more. I have made this into a huge battle throughout my career to speak up and make a point and was aggressive, but it was so normal for a man to do the same. Women need a lot of confidence and courage to keep going and to move forward. It’s important to preserve our freedom and worth.
Whatever profession you choose, do men see women as either a female rival with independence and strength, or someone inexperienced that needs to be managed, never as an equal? How do you show your male colleagues that you are an equal without stepping on their toes?
In the workplace, I aim to add value to any conversation and to work with confidence and not emotion. But, I’m Italian. I have emotions. I try to make sure that everything is objective. I learn from this, and it’s the best strategy. I couldn’t be here without male support, but it was tough starting as a young woman. You have to lead by example, to both men and women. I can be a tough leader, but a touch of grace is always helpful.
What do you now know about yourself that you wish you knew ten/fifteen/twenty years ago? Do today’s young people face a bigger challenge than you did?
I wish I knew more unconditional love, which is the biggest strength. My mother wasn’t a rich person, but she had a lot of wisdom, which was my greatest guide and principal. This is the best quality that I’ve learned over the years.
Can you tell us about one of the biggest challenges in your life that you think helped you become the person you are today? What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?
Shifting industries became my strength, but when I moved into my technology career, it was tough. I got some disrespect. When I tried to give my boss my resignation letter he threw the letter in my face and said: “You’re not going anywhere.” It was hard to leave Dolce and Gabbana, I was with them for fourteen years, but it was the best decision I made.
Who inspires you the most? If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Anyone who does good work and cares about what they are doing, and those who are making a difference. But, I would have dinner with Aung San Suu Kyi, who was arrested for protesting and put under house arrest for 15 years. I admire her strength. Seeing her in this brilliance and grace, while freeing her country at the same time. Also, the movie called The Lady, and the song called “Walk on” was a strong inspiration for me.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
It would be healing. The one thing that we keep celebrating every day is our health. The fact we are healthy is already a gift. I saw someone in a wheelchair jogging with others in central park the other day, and I was so inspired. I wish I could have the healing power of everyone who was sick.