#PrivilegeTax Story: Stephanie Morimoto - EleVen by Venus Williams

#PrivilegeTax Story: Stephanie Morimoto

Stephanie Morimoto

Stephanie Morimoto
Owner/CEO, Asutra
Asutra (Asutra.com)
@asutra.life // @stephanie_morimoto (Instagram)

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?

At our company Asutra, our mission is active self-care - take care of yourself on purpose so you can take on anything. Living that mission with great intention was critical to getting through the past year. I did what you might normally associate with self-care: daily movement, getting lots of sleep, getting plenty of magnesium (which is so good for a healthy body and mind), and yes, using lots of skincare. But I also created space with my husband, friends and Team Asutra to talk about what each of us were facing with COVID, sheltering in place and balancing work with homeschooling kids. Being able to speak honestly allowed us to vent about and process what was happening -- so that we could get through and have the energy to continue working on our best selves.

Q. Where did you first discover that women were paid less than men?

I learned about the gender pay gap in college.

Q. Tell me about one woman in your life whose impact you admire most?

There are so many women whose impact I admire. I’d like to honor my grandmother. She fled her home in Indonesia because of a brutal dictator and landed in Los Angeles. There, she built her own business, starting out as a seamstress and eventually making patterns for top fashion brands. She was the breadwinner in the family. She showered me with unconditional love and found joy in the small stuff. She showed me a model of how you could live holistically.

Q. Any advice for women that want to advocate for pay equity?

Two pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t sell yourself short when negotiating your own pay. Do your homework on similar roles, find out what men in those roles are paid, pick your number and propose it.
  2. If you hire and manage employees, look at your team’s compensation and make sure it is equitable across gender and race lines.

Q. What one piece of advice would you give your 13 year old self?

Don’t worry about being perfect. As a kid and through my early 20’s, I was a perfectionist. I really had to work on accepting that being perfect was not attainable. Instead, I focused on how I could constantly learn and improve, and also on how to celebrate successes and give myself grace when things don’t go well.

Q. What’s your go-to resource recommendation for learning about business and/ or leadership?

I have intentionally built a network over 22 years of people with lots of different experiences and kept in touch with them. I call on people I know with relevant experience to provide insight and to push me. Often, I also ask them to connect me to others in their networks who can help me with a specific need.

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