Red Shoe Movement Hall of Fame 2017

Our first Red Shoe Movement Hall of Fame 2017 features a diverse group of people who inspire us by speaking up about equality and the benefits of inclusion at the top. But they mostly inspire us with their actions.

RSM Hall of Fame

Click on each one of our Red Shoe Movement Hall of Fame 2017 Honorees to be inspired by their actions and their vision.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO, Celebrity Cruises

As a leader, what are you specifically doing to level the playing field for women?

I continue to put myself out there in everything that I do – whether is in in the boardroom, meeting room, social media, organizations I belong to, causes that I support, etc…to elevate women of all ages in business, education and for them personally. It is important to me to be a role model for how women feel about themselves, their importance, their value, their aspirations, and their place in the world. I also try to foster an environment where we all care about things that matter most. I sponsor women, I mentor women, and I promote and help women achieve their personal and professional goals. I am an advocate every day and in everything I do. I encourage every woman I come into contact with to raise their hand and use their voice, knowledge and experience to help level the playing field in some way. No opportunity is there if we don’t seek it out. I also believe this is one of the most important times in recent history where women AND men should carry this torch. As I have shared with my nieces and whenever I am speaking in or to a group, we need to care less about fitting into the glass slipper and more about shattering the glass ceiling.

If you could suggest one action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women at the top, what would it be?

In 2017, this feels like an old conversation that we should put behind us. Sadly, we’re not there yet.

The one thing we all need to do as leaders in organizations is to consider businesses as a meritocracy, where gender is not an issue in who can do the job most effectively. To do that, we need to see the same number of men to women in boardrooms, in conference rooms, on podiums and in every level of leadership so that we are always grooming the next generation today. I think it is extremely important to understand that diversity of all kinds, especially gender diversity, makes for better and more meaningful conversations, decisions and results.

Miguel Alemany, Director R&D, Flavors & Fragrances, Worldwide, P&G

As a leader, what are you specifically doing to level the playing field for women?

We have had tremendous success in this area. I lead one of the largest Fragrance Houses in the world and within my organization already 50% of our executives are female, and the rest of the organization is 70% female. The interesting thing is I never force a position to be filled by a female, or any other minority. But I have a system by where every time there is a promotion or a position is filled, I ask this question “what two females or minorities did you consider for this position and why did you decide not to offer?” I never overrule the decision, but as a result of this questioning approach, my team always looks at females and minorities before making a decision and very often they find a better qualified female or minority for the job. You can’t force diversity, you can only make qualified people available.

Finally, we target up-and-coming females and work with their management to make sure they get the necessary training and opportunities to prove themselves. In the end, the best person will get the job regardless of gender. My job is to make sure I have sufficient females in the candidate pool so that I have a balanced organization.

If you could suggest an action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women in higher decision-making positions, what would it be?

First and foremost, you have to make diversity a business advantage, not a mandate. Second, you have to give females the opportunity to show their potential and skills by creating crucible assignments where they can showcase how good they are. And third and most importantly, you have to create the culture of acceptance of all. To do that we have a series of events. First is a weekly breakfast where the rules are simple, no work talk, and no taking the breakfast and going back to the office. This forces the organization to be together and socialize. Purely voluntary, but works. Second I do weekly happy hours, non-work sponsored, that create camaraderie and bring people together. By not being part of work, only those who are interested come, but over time everyone ends up coming. By creating a non-work sponsored social hours, we have removed the pressure to “perform in front of the boss”, and removed the fears of being yourself, creating a very cooperative culture where everyone is considered the same.

Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive Vice President, Panama Canal Authority

As a leader, what are you specifically doing to level the playing field for women?

As a leader I am empowering women by being an example for them to achieve their goals. Leading by example and sharing your testimony is one of the most effective ways to empower women. I often share my experiences and present the reality I had to go through if my life, not only as a professional, but from childhood. It is important to experience the ups and downs of life and to learn from mistakes. I encourage women not to be afraid of changing paths if needed. That if there is a will there is a way. I open opportunities for women to relieve in higher positions when possible, encourage them to aspire to higher roles and assure themselves that it is possible, not alone but with help. I provide support and mentoring to women in my organization and beyond on how to balance work life and family life, so they feel comfortable that it is possible to achieve both in harmony.

If you could suggest one action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women at the top, what would it be?

I believe that exposure is key. Opportunities need to be given to women to be able to show their abilities and capabilities. I think a job rotation plan for women would be advantageous for companies to recognize the added value women can contribute by enlarging the female participation in leadership roles.

Ilya Marotta photo credit: Javier Conte

Alexia Keglevich, CEO, ASSIST CARD (A member of the STARR COMPANIES Holding)

As a leader, specifically what are you doing to leveling the playing field for women?

I am convinced that the playing field does not need to level but that you should take advantage of it and get out and show off. Regardless of the gender (female / male) what I recommend is that each one demonstrates the skill we have and with which we can achieve what we are looking for. From my position as CEO of ASSIST CARD, and at a personal level I try to spread this behavior to other leaders. How? I try to participate in different motivational, educational, solidarity talks where the message is to encourage the public to trust oneself more and to demonstrate that we can all do what we want as well as the other person. In this age, equality between men and women should no longer be an issue. We are no more and no less than them, we are all the same and I am convinced that we must have equal opportunities.

If you could suggest an action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women in higher decision-making positions, what would it be?

The only action I suggest is that when interviewing or taking into account a person for a position, leave out evaluating whether the candidate is woman or man. As I said earlier, we are all the same. I understand that there are jobs more suitable for men and others for women, because the strength and delicacy that each gender has is different, but that should not exclude a woman or a man from a position. What should guide de decion is the aptitude, knowledge, and experience that is sought for each role.

Sergio Kaufman, CEO, Hispanic South America, Accenture

As a leader, what are you specifically doing to level the playing field for women?

Making sure equality is not a slogan but real actions with real results. It´s equality in terms of opportunities, salary and representation in the leadership team. One of the key actions is to support women in key stages of life and career to make sure they stay in the career progression and it´s not a decision between raising a family or building a successful career but both can be done simultaneously.

If you could suggest one action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women at the top, what would it be?

A key action is to make sure that for any space that opens in the leadership team there is a women candidate to fill it. It´s not acceptable that for any given position ALL candidates are men. You need always a female candidate. You might chose her or not but if you keep the discipline of doing this, the change will come.

Rosemary Rodríguez, Film & TV Director & 4th Vice President, DGA (Directors Guild of America)

As a leader, what are you specifically doing to level the playing field for women?

To help level the playing field, I work hard volunteering at the Director’s Guild of America to educate and share my experience with other directors. I always mentor other female directors to encourage them to speak loudly and be bold in this world. I tell them to be fearless in fighting for their dreams. Diversity is making progress in the entertainment field, but it’s very slow. I work hard with other directors to move diversity forward through education, especially helping others to know their responsibilities and rights so that they may succeed once they get hired. Getting the job is just the beginning, staying in the job requires perseverence, professionalism and hard work.

If you could suggest one action that organizations can take to accelerate the representation of women at the top, what would it be?

My one suggestion would be that for every job that opens up, that organizations meet with as many women as they do men so that they can learn who we are and what we have to offer. Get us in the room, in front of the people hiring, so that we can impress them and show them our confidence and ability.

Red Shoe Movement Hall of Fame 2017 Credits

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