Vice President, Brand and Consumer Marketing for the NFL
“I would tell any aspiring Power Woman to know her worth and not settle. Others will treat you the way you allow them to, so ensuring you know your worth and can articulate your thoughts, opinions, and boundaries has served me well in both a personal and professional context.”
In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Woman”?
In my opinion, a “power woman” is someone who is ambitious, driven and has the ability to exert influence over those around her, while having empathy to inspire and uplift others. I think often women think they need to emulate stereotypical qualities of men in order to be powerful; I would argue the opposite…from what I have experienced, the most powerful women I have ever encountered have had the ability to seamlessly balance ambition and connecting on a human level.
What do you think is the number one action we as a society can take toward empowering women and gender equality?
There realistically isn’t one singular action that we can take toward empowering women and tackling the loaded issues around gender equality. That said, I think that the more women sitting at the table and in rooms where decisions are made around laws and policies that govern our bodies, our professional opportunities and our compensation is the bare minimum of first steps.
Do you think that asking previous salary requirements in job interviews contributes to the pay gap between women and men? NY State outlawed this practice, should it be nationwide?
I don’t necessarily think that asking about previous salary requirements contributes to the pay gap, but I think that the approach women typically take to answering that question does. Often you see men over-estimating their value when seeking a new job and women under-valuing what they bring to the table, willing to take what’s offered to them. That said, I think having salary transparency nationwide helps all candidates understand what a reasonable compensation benchmark looks like and therefore allows all candidates (regardless of gender) to be able to effectively negotiate from a common low/high water mark.
What was the defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today?
A defining moment in my life was when a former CEO saw the potential in me and took a chance to elevate me to a position of real power. I struggled with such imposter syndrome as I transitioned into that role, but along the way this CEO was so supportive and such a champion of me. That role propelled me to where I am in my career now and I will be forever grateful for him seeing in me at that time, what I couldn’t yet see in myself…building my professional confidence along the way.
What is your mantra? What phrase or parabel best describes your approach right now?
The phrase that has continued to guide my approach throughout my professional and personal life has always been ‘accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can’t accept and have the knowledge to know the difference between the two”. Trying to balance professional and personal priorities never gets easier, but having the perspective to ground you in what’s truly important has been critical for me.
How would you describe the changes in the political landscape for women over the past five years?
From my perspective, I would say that the changes in the political landscape in the United States over the last 5 years for women have been akin to taking two steps forward, and ten steps back. On one hand, steps are being taken to help women’s economic security and ensure women’s physical safety and yet, in the shadow of the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment, women are dealing with the 2022 overturning of Roe v Wade, losing more and more autonomy over their bodies.
Women are often placed in binaries. Strong and emotionless or weak and sensitive. How do you subvert these limitations and connect to all sides of womanhood?
The importance of role modeling in this regard is critical. Women being able to see themselves represented in positions of power, in decision making roles, that don’t conform to those binaries is the real way that change is made. On a daily basis, I work with women on my team to celebrate attributes that they display that may be considered negative (celebrating being empathetic instead of too emotional etc)
What advice would you give to any aspiring Power Women?
I would tell any aspiring Power Woman to know her worth and not settle. Others will treat you the way you allow them to, so ensuring you know your worth and can articulate your thoughts, opinions and boundaries has served me well in both a personal and professional context.
What steps do you take to obtain a healthy work/life balance?
Perspective again is so important so I’ve been clear about setting boundaries to delineate between when I’m “on” and working (when I give people access to my time) and when I’m not. I’m sure other women can relate to the feeling that I have about this though when I say that I don’t ever think I’m doing a good enough job to “balance”. Women are often expected to work like they have no kids and parent like they have no job and those expectations have created an environment in which women may never feel like they are truly able to accomplish it all.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
There are so many strong women throughout history that I try to model behaviors after, one being Hillary Clinton. Her ability throughout her time in the public eye to showcase resilience, intelligence, courage, and the ability to speak up in rooms where often she was the only woman represented has always made her admirable to me.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is to speak up…that nothing comes from silence. Speaking up and advocating for yourself is maybe not something that women always feel comfortable doing, but knowing your value and learning how to unapologetically articulate it, is something that I’ve taken with me throughout my career.
What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?
While it probably isn’t my favorite book, I really enjoyed The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson. As a (recovering) people pleaser and woman, it really reframed how to define what is truly important for anyone to spend time thinking through, worrying about etc. The concept of redefining your struggles as the biggest learning milestones from which you extract meaning (while also not taking yourself too seriously) is a great message we could all use reinforcing from time to time.
What do you most value in your friends?
I value honesty and loyalty the most in friendships. Surrounding yourself with a tribe of people who invest the time to truly see you and care enough to be honest with you (good or bad) is incredibly important. It’s that council of trusted people that push you to be better.
Which trait do you most deplore in yourself? In others?
As I’ve grown in my professional life, I’ve worked very hard on setting boundaries to stop being a people pleaser. It’s a quality in myself that I least admire, and ultimately results in me putting everyone else in my life first, at the expense of my own well being. When it comes to those around me, insincerity is the quality I deplore the most. The inability to be real and vulnerable with other people, in my opinion, ultimately robs you of the ability to develop a legitimate human connection.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don’t consider any virtues overrated, to be honest. However, I think if any virtue is exercised in an inauthentic way it loses its significance.
“Legislators, priests, philosophers, writers, and scientists have striven to show that the subordinate position of woman is willed in heaven and advantageous on earth.” Simone de Beauvoir. Is this still a major stumbling block on the 21st century road to equality?
The patriarchy (as I’m interpreting Simone de Beauvoir’s quote is referencing) is still very much a real impediment for women on the road to equality in society. One hundred and three years after women were afforded the right to vote in this country (and fifty eight years after black women were afforded the same right), we’re still collectively facing hurdles large and small that seem to dovetail from the patriarchal structures that underpin our society; from the overturning of Roe v Wade and the loss of the autonomy of our own bodies in many states, to the overwhelmingly unbalanced share of work women still do across households throughout the country.
“One hundred and three years after women were afforded the right to vote in this country (and fifty-eight years after black women were afforded the same right), we’re still collectively facing hurdles large and small that seem to dovetail from the patriarchal structures that underpin our society.”