Q. I believe you must constantly be in pursuit of your best self. How have you prioritized doing so over the past year with the world being in a state of constant chaos?
You absolutely should always be in pursuit of being the best person that you can be. The past year with all the chaos with COVID and just having to be indoors, it actually has given me a little bit more time to not just reflect but also to try to do what I can to improve in the areas where I have seen lack in myself. I think that it’s just about being able to have used your time wisely. And I think that for a lot of us, me included, there was a little bit of a grieving period where you’re just kind of feeling sorry for yourself for the amount of time you had to spend in the house. I was able to exercise, improve on my cooking, and learn a few make up skills. So there’s always ways that you can improve little and larger things by just using your time wisely. So that’s what I try to do.
Q. Where did you first discover that women were paid less than men?
I think I’ve always known that women were paid less than men. It’s so sad that it’s kind of just a real fact that grow up understanding. I couldn’t even tell you the first time I realized that, maybe elementary school, maybe junior high-school. I’ve always also felt that it was a disservice to women, especially if we were doing the same job and holding the same positions, why be paid less as if you’re not valued the same. That wasn’t ideal but I couldn’t pinpoint a direct time, I think it’s just always been the case.
Q. Tell me about one woman in your life whose impact you admire most?
It sounds very very cliché but one women in my life whose impact I value the most is my mom. She raised 5 girls, and did so with finesse and grace I’d like to think. I think that we all had had our own personalities and everything else, and she supported us and the things that we wanted to do. She was also fun, and we got to play with her, and she wanted to do some things that were even a little too silly for me but she really embraced us and embraced each of our personalities and I really admire that because I think we live in a world of diversity and often times diversity isn’t embraced so it really helped me. She also raised us to be very strong and independent women. I think that also helped to shape who I am. So I really appreciate my mother.
Q. Any advice for women that want to advocate for pay equity?
Advice that I would give to women who wanted to advocate for pay equity would be: first and foremost, never give up because their not going to give it to you easily. So you have to persevere, you have to still grind at it. Anything worth having in life, you want to make sure you never give up because if you stay nose to the grindstone, it can happen. Venus is a prime example of that. They were looking for pay equity in women’s tennis and it started way back when with Billy Jean King and the disparity of the prize money in women to men was so extreme. It took all of those years, for Venus to walk in and say “We’re not giving up on this”, “We’re going to keep asking”, “We’re going to keep pushing because it’s what’s right and it’s what’s just”. So when you know what what you’re advocating for is right and just, you never give up. You never give up!
Q. What one piece of advice would you give your 13 year old self?
A piece of advice that I would absolutely give me 13 year old self is, pay more attention to algebra, just because it would really kind of set you up a lot better for the future. I would also say for me; pay more attention to your fashion, everyone looks back at these pictures of themselves and goes “Oh my gosh, what was I thinking?”. I had no clue at 13 of what was stylish, what was cute, I was not one of those girls at all. So I would tell my 13 year old self “Step it up a notch, girl. You’re not doing enough!”
Q. What’s your go-to resource recommendation for learning about business and/ or leadership?
My go-to resource for business and leadership recommendations is, first and foremost, the Bible. I know that sounds really strange for a lot of people, but the Bible has so much wisdom and you can use the principles there and apply them to your life. If you really do it, you will be a good leader. You’ll be a great leader, and you’ll be ethical. In business, ethics sometimes gets lost. And I think when you are an ethical person and you treat people honestly and fairly, and you’re good to people and you want to do a great job and also to have the other person on the other side of the business you’re transacting feel good about the business that you’re doing, there is no other place to get that wisdom, other than the Bible.
In addition to the Bible, another go-to resource is actually Venus’ book, Come To Win. The specific reason because these are compilation of other peoples experiences and how sport actually helps you in life, in business, and whatever it is that you want to do. And there people telling their story in there, from former President Bill Clinton to Condoleezza Rice to Marcus Samuelsson, who’s a wonderful chef. And they’re expressing how they were able to get to the height if their careers and how sport impacted that. One of the great things about this particular book that helps me, is that there real life stories. Their really people who are sharing their experiences and I think that for me, I’m a learner that likes to learn from life experiences and the experiences of others because those are the real things, the tangible things, that you can actually apply to your own circumstance or to whatever it is you may be going through. So that is also a really valuable resource fo me.