Lisa Lutoff- Perlo
President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises
“I care about girls being empowered instead of being objectified. I care about girls being valued for their brains and contribution versus shallowness and fame. I care about celebrating everyone instead of shaming and bullying based on looks and weight. And, I want girls to care more about shattering the glass ceiling than fitting into a glass slipper.”
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?
I care about girls being empowered instead of objectified. I care about girls being valued for their brains and contribution versus shallowness and fame. I care about celebrating everyone instead of shaming and bullying based on looks and weight. And, I want girls to care more about shattering the glass ceiling than fitting into a glass slipper.
What specific aspect of women’s rights in the U.S. 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?
Pass the ERA. Equal means equal. Elect a woman into the White House. Elect politicians who are committed to preserving the rights we have already fought for and won.
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 my profession, which is very male dominated, I believe women are respected and thought of and treated as equals. In the positions that I have held throughout my career here, I have been the first woman to hold the position. I show my male colleagues and subordinates that I am an equal by building credibility one interaction at a time. I have always seen skepticism turn into respect very quickly.
Do you feel the extreme left and right wings of U.S. politics are destroying the United in United States, or is it just healthy debate? Should the financing of political campaigns be the controlled by an independent authority?
The political climate is not healthy. I’m not sure I would go so far as to say it is destroying the United States, but I believe the populous has to send a message that this just has to stop. The Bi-Partisan climate is very unhealthy and inhibiting progress. I have no opinion on political campaign funding.
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 10/15/20 years ago that I could achieve what I have achieved. I would have pursued my dreams more aggressively and earlier. Young people have it easier, but they need to fight to keep it so.
Do you feel that religion is on the decline in the Western World? Will it have an effect on U.S. society? If so, will it be good or bad?
I don’t know that much about the decline of religion in the Western World. What I do know, as a Catholic, is that this pope gives me hope that we can evolve so that we keep people in the church. I also wish people would stop doing terrible things in the name of religion.
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?
I’m not sure I would classify this as a challenge, but taking care of my sisters at a VERY young age helped me become the person and leader that I am today. I learned responsibility, accountability, loyalty, and maturing. My best decision was leaving Massachusetts to take my first promotion with my company. The rest is history. My worst decision was to not trust my gut and everything I knew because I did not want to overrule my team. Sometimes you just have to be the boss.
Who inspires you the most? If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Gloria Steinem and Rosa Parks inspire me the most. I would love to have dinner with them. Trailblazers. Women of courage. We owe them so much.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
My superpower would be the ability to eliminate hatred and violence from the world.
Favorite: Book/writer? Song/singer? Movie/actor? Cuisine/dish?
Favorite book/writer: James Patterson–all his books.
Song/singer: Bruce Springsteen–all his songs.
Movie/actor: Sideways. Mark Ruffalo.
Cuisine/Dish: Lebanese food–Kibbeh.