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The Power of Being an Outsider, with Ann Mukherjee

The Power of Being an Outsider, with Ann Mukherjee

Episode 337: The Power of Being an Outsider, with Ann Mukherjee

We sit down with Ann Mukherjee, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, to discuss wanting to make a difference working for a spirits company, opening the conversation about sexual consent and alcohol, and how the pandemic helped companies understand employees' needs.


0:00:00.5 Maricella Herrera: Hi everyone. Before I get to the episode, I want to take a moment to address the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, which stripped away the right to have a safe and legal abortion. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health and independence of all people, which we have already seen with abortion bans and restrictions in countries like Poland and Malta. This decision has dire consequences and could have harsh repercussions for other landmark decisions within the United States. I encourage our audience, American and otherwise, to learn more about what you can do to help at I encourage you to speak up, take care, and spread the word.

0:00:45.9 Intro: Welcome to the Ellevate podcast, conversations with women changing the face of business. And now your host, Maricella Herrera.


0:01:04.9 Megan Oliver: Happy Thanksgiving.

0:01:07.6 MH: Happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to the Ellevate podcast. I'm Maricella Herrera, the CEO of Ellevate Network and your host for this podcast. I'm joined today by my co-host, officially co-host, Megan Oliver. If you're a regular listener of the podcast, you've heard Megan kind of do little cameos because she's been producing the podcast, getting our guests, getting everything set up and making sure that we're running on track. So now she gets to be on this side of things with me for a while.

0:01:44.5 MO: Yeah, it's crazy. I literally just, hi everybody. Nice to meet you as the official co-host. I just almost instinctively as I hit record, muted my mic and then I was like, oh no, no, no, no. I need my mic for this.

0:01:58.5 MH: Well, welcome to the dark side, Megan.

0:02:02.0 MO: I know. The fun side.

0:02:02.9 MH: The fun side. Yeah, it's a fun side. Although, you know, backstage is also a fun side. As someone who has done lots of backstage stuff, it is fun.

0:02:12.8 MO: Oh yeah. I did all kinds of like fun tech stuff growing up. I was... I was always the extra in theater. So I was always... I was always helping backstage with whatever I needed to do.

0:02:25.9 MH: I actually, when I think about it, I never thought I would be in more of a public facing role because I've always been more of the operational kind of back person, but I'm enjoying it. It's fun.

0:02:40.5 MO: I've always loved being somebody's number two. I've always loved being like support. So it is very funny that I now I'm a co-host on a podcast. Definitely didn't see that one coming.

0:02:50.2 MH: Hey, never know where life will take you.

0:02:53.7 MO: Yeah. Oh, that's true.

0:02:56.6 MH: So what are you up to? What's been going on with you? Tell our listeners.

0:03:01.1 MO: I was going to say, I think you know. So I can officially say, I don't know if I ever talked about this on the podcast, but I am, as of now officially an aunt, my niece, Olivia Grace came into this world. She came in on October 22nd. She is perfect. She is... We're recording this now at the beginning of November. This won't come out until a little later in November. But so she's now about a week and a half old. She's perfect. I have seen her almost every day since she was born because well, she was a few days old when I first saw her because I live in New York city, but my whole side of the family lives in Texas in the Dallas area. So I'm down in Texas for about two months visiting. Oh, we had a big company retreat, which, woohoo!

0:03:52.8 MH: Yeah. It was very fun.

0:03:55.5 MO: Yeah. We had that. That was very fun, which luckily lined up perfectly with my trip. So that was... We had the 24th to the 26th and then I flew in on the 27th. And she was born on the 22nd. So I saw her when she was five days old and now I've seen her almost every day since she is literally downstairs right now. 'Cause I'm staying with my parents, but my brother and his fiance came over and brought her over and she's... I don't want to just... I... There's not enough words for perfect and I won't bore our listeners by reciting them, but suffice it to say, if you just look up perfect in the thesaurus, you've got her covered.

0:04:38.1 MH: Well, welcome to the auntie club. It's a special... I don't know. It's a special love. I feel at least that way with my nephew who is going to be coming to New York with my brother and my family on Friday. So I get to see him and very excited about that. He's turning one. So aunties all around.

0:05:01.1 MO: Aunties are the best. I had a shirt that I wore to first meet her that just said auntie like five times in different colors. And my dad was teasing me. He was like, Megan, who bought you that shirt? And I was like, I bought it for myself. Thank you. This shirt is cool.

0:05:13.8 MH: It's independence is what it is.

0:05:16.5 MO: Exactly. And then I casually referenced that I had bought it like six months earlier. So like when she was like three months pregnant and Brie who's Mitchell's fiance, the mom, and she was like, why did you buy it that long? And I was like, let me... I can show you the receipt for how long ago I bought this. I was excited.

0:05:38.4 MH: And you have been waiting. And that's what happens. I mean, I felt that way with my little nephew and I'm glad she's here and I'm glad she's perfect. And I love the name Olivia and congratulations.

0:05:48.6 MO: Thank you. I am so excited. And she's just like... Oh, she's like, you can't really do anything yet because she's a newborn, but we just kind of all stare at her all day.

0:06:00.2 MH: Yeah. And you'll see afterwards, I was looking at pictures of my nephew from when he was a newborn and he's gotten so much cuter. Like now I see the pictures of when he was a newborn and I'm like, yeah, you were cute, but... You're still a newborn.

0:06:13.7 MO: Oh yeah. Those first few weeks are not your peak.

0:06:19.2 MH: No.

0:06:19.4 MH: So today you're going to have a chance to hear me fangirling a little bit.

0:06:25.6 MO: Yes.

0:06:27.3 MH: I extremely enjoyed this interview. It's... It's so hard because I know I say this every week, but really my conversation with Ann Mukherjee, Ann is the CEO of Pernod Ricard, North America. So you might not be familiar with the name Pernod Ricard. I wasn't for sure. But once you know the brands that they carry, then you will be like, Oh, I know them. So Pernod Ricard is a spirits company and they have a lot of brands under their name, but one of the ones, which is why I completely fangirled, and Ann and I had a whole discussion. One of their brands is Absolut Vodka. And so, no, it's not because of the vodka. Okay. I'm actually more of a tequila girl, but Absolut for those of you who might be... Or back in the day we're in marketing or branding, when I was in school, it was a big thing. Right. And to me, I just nerded out on all of their branding and advertising and all the things. I remember having like their books with every single ad. It was just incredible. So I had such a fun time talking to Ann, not only because she's the company's first female BIPOC CEO, but she's also launched a bunch of campaigns, including sex responsibly.

0:07:51.0 MH: The first campaign from a spirits company that addresses the issue of consent and what role irresponsible drinking has in it. She is fantastic. We talk about her story. We talk about how alcohol has affected her life and why she took the job and many, many other things. So can't wait for you to hear it.


0:08:26.4 MH: I'm very excited to be here with Ann Mukherjee, the chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America. Ann, how are you?

0:08:33.3 Ann Mukherjee: I am great. Thank you so much for having me.

0:08:37.1 MH: Thank you so much for being here. I'm so excited to have this conversation. I was reading some of the stuff you're doing and the campaigns that you're working on. And I'm very, very excited.

0:08:50.3 AM: Oh, you're very kind. Thank you.

0:08:53.9 MH: But first we always like to start with, can you give me a little personal background? Tell me a bit about yourself and your journey.

0:09:00.5 AM: Yeah, sure. Look, I wish I had the journey that I think most people expect to hear, but I don't. I'm one of those people that have never really followed a rule book. I was born in India. I immigrated here when I was five, lived in Chicago. I lost my mother to a drunk driver. She was killed when I was 14 and she was 36. So I moved back to India to finish the rest of my schooling and then came back by myself to the United States, put myself through school. I have an interesting undergraduate degree. I went to University of Chicago and I've got a degree in economics and I have a degree in religious theology.

0:09:46.3 AM: Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. I thought I was going to be a TV evangelist, but that didn't work out. [laughter] So I ended up working in the nonprofit sector and went back to get my MBA at University of Chicago and then started kind of my career journey. Started at Kraft Foods and really I'm a core... I'm a marketer at heart. I love brands. I love building brands to drive businesses. From there I went to PepsiCo where I worked at Frito-Lay. I was a chief marketing officer and then president of Global Snacks. And then I took a hiatus. I wanted to work for a private company. So I went to a family owned company named SC Johnson and they make some fun brands like Ziploc and Glade and a bunch of household products. I was the global chief commercial officer and I had about 100... Over 100 countries reporting in to me and running that business. And then I found out I was on some secret list. Found out that I was being considered for the current role that I'm in. And I'm actually the first outside hire ever in the history of Pernod Ricard. I'm the first female person of color, first person from outside the industry. So they really wanted to make a big change and boy did they. [laughter]

0:11:06.1 MH: Wow. That's amazing. And this was in December, 2019 that you took the role, right?

0:11:14.5 AM: Yep. Three months before lockdown.

0:11:16.8 MH: I was going to say, so it was probably a very interesting... Interesting first six months.

0:11:24.2 AM: It really was. When you join a company that is all about conviviality and the magic of human connection. I didn't get many connections before I started my job. [laughter]

0:11:35.6 MH: How did it feel to come in as, like you said, the first outsider?

0:11:41.7 AM: Yeah. I mean, in a way it's liberating because I don't know any rules. I don't have a rule book. I get to come in and learn what is really important in an industry like this. It gives me new eyes because a lot of the people in this industry have been here for decades. And that's one of the reasons they brought in someone from the outside to say, okay, give us your outside view. And when you come in from the outside, you see what's magical and special and it's fantastic, but you also see opportunities. And so it gave me a wonderful ability to come in and create impact quickly and build on this incredible legacy of this company. And so it's been lots of fun.

0:12:34.1 MH: So like you said, started, lockdown happens. What were the things that you had to adapt to or do to really get to know the company, get to know the people, get to know your executive team? I mean, like you said, you're starting from scratch and in a world that's not the normal world.

0:12:56.3 AM: Yeah. I mean, I was literally... I was running the company from the office I had to build in my bedroom because my husband wouldn't let me into our study. He took that over. So I had to take my kind of organizational skills, my interpersonal skills, my management skills and make them virtual overnight. And I had to figure out how to make the same impact, but do it without touching people and seeing body language and really unleashing myself and making my presence felt, but through a computer screen. It was a lot of relearning very quickly.

0:13:43.4 MH: Yeah. I can imagine. I was thinking, as you told us your background, so you lost your mom to a drunk driver.

0:13:51.5 AM: Yes.

0:13:53.2 MH: And now you're in the spirits industry.

0:13:54.7 AM: Yes.

0:13:55.2 MH: Did it... Was it something that you kind of thought about or when you were coming into this role, like wanted to make a difference in some way?

0:14:07.1 AM: Yeah. I mean, a lot of my friends were shocked and surprised that I would take this role. And you know, it's not just my own mother who was killed by a drunk driver. Alcohol has played a terrible role in my life when it's come to abuse and sexual abuse. And so, you know, when the opportunity came up, it was really my husband who sat me down and said, I think the universe is trying to tell you something that this is your opportunity to right the wrongs and give your mother's death meaning. And you know, now you can get a seat at the table and now you can really, you know, use this opportunity and give back from a responsibility perspective of making things right and fighting for what's right. And I was like, you're absolutely correct. And I was grateful that it was Pernod Ricard that gave me this opportunity because the values of the company match so much my deeply held values that I kind of felt like, yeah, this was the universe talking to me.

0:15:09.6 MH: Values of the company match your deeply held values. I hear that that's what we're all looking for lately.

0:15:15.1 AM: Yes. Because, you know... Yeah. I think we live in a world where, you know, just like consumers just don't buy brands, they buy into brands. I think employees just don't want to work at a company. They want to believe in the company. They want to buy into the company. So, you know, that's the piece of advice I give everyone who asks me career advice. I'm like, make sure that happens when you join a company.

0:15:40.1 MH: That's great advice. It's funny. I'm kind of fangirling a little bit because like you said, you're a marketer. I, in my heart consider myself a marketer, although I started my career in finance. But when I started college, the first thing... My first major or what I was trying to major in was marketing. And Absolut Vodka was it back then in all the branding books and all the branding stuff. And I was so into it. So I'm just very happy to be talking to you.

0:16:15.8 AM: It's really funny because, you know, you and I are the same. This is so it's kind of maybe we're sisters from another mother. But I... When I first found out it was Pernod Ricard, I was like, Pernod who? And, you know, it's like, so, you know, I Googled it just like everybody else does. And I'm like, oh my God, this is like the second biggest spirits company in the world. And oh my God, they make Absolut. And like you Absolut for me is near and dear to my heart. And I'm like, man, I'd love to work for a company that has Absolut. So it's... I think it's been in every textbook because this is a brand from the very beginning that pushed the limits. I think that's why marketers at heart that we are. I think that speaks to us.

0:17:00.6 MH: Yeah. When Megan, our producer told me I was speaking to you today, I was like, Oh my God! [laughter] So I do want to talk a little bit because as you said, you know, the values of the company match your values and alcohol has played a role in your life and things that have happened in your life. And now you're... You're spearheading things like these responsibly... I'm just going to call them responsibly campaigns, sex responsibly, love responsibly, engage responsibly. Can you talk a little bit about these and what you're doing with them?

0:17:39.6 AM: Yeah, sure. I'm... You know, look, I think for every brand, they all have their own unique story and when it comes to, you know, responsibility, I'll talk at first from a Absolut perspective then I'll say Pernod Ricard but Absolut has always been a brand about giving those who don't have voice, voice, it's about inclusion, the power of inclusivity. And, you know, Absolut was talking way back, you know, in the '80s about gay rights and no one wanted to talk about it. And you know, this is a brand that has always pushed the limits. So, you know, when I started with the company, you know, I was challenged by our global chairman about, you know, we got to get Absolut back into the conversation. And I believe in this notion of this timeless story of what Absolut is, a provocateur, and how do you do that in timely ways? And at the time, the Me Too movement was very much in the news, it was in culture, it's what people were talking about. And back to joining a company for their values that match your own, within three weeks of me starting the company, I was standing in front of the board talking about we want to do the Sex Responsibly campaign and talk about this gray area around consent and this notion that only a yes to sex is a yes.

0:19:02.1 AM: And that's what created the Sex Responsibly campaign. So we could give consumers a dialogue and a language to talk around, consent means consent. And I even lent my own personal story of my own abuse to the campaign. And I've been even since then talking very publicly that if you are going to buy any one of our brands or products as a weapon against victims, we don't want your money. We don't want your business. We don't, we don't want you to be a user. And I think in a world today that, you know, where consumers are looking for companies to take stands about what they stand for and what they stand against, that was an important way to put a statement, not only on me coming into the industry, but kind of how we wanted our brands to speak in the industry.

0:19:56.1 MH: I love it. I just really think that putting a strong statement out there and like you said, you shared your story with this campaign and that makes it so much more powerful.

0:20:10.6 AM: And I will tell you what the heartbreaking part of that is, is as we put that out there and whether it's employees that I speak to or consumers that I interact with or when I do market visits and I see shoppers and stores and people have seen this campaign, the amount of women and some men that have come up to me and said, You know what, I thought what happened to me was no big deal. I now realize I was wronged. Like it allowed people to really confront things that they thought was their fault when it was never theirs. And so I think brands have that power. I think... I think we as companies have that power really to help people. And it's not just through the consumption or the use of the brand, but how it opens up people's minds to stand strong.

0:21:09.3 MH: I was having a whole conversation with one of my colleagues today on how your product might be your product, but what you stand for and the big ideal of your brand needs to be something powerful, needs to be something that connects with humans. And that actually makes a difference. I mean, where we are in this... At this point in the world, if you're not... If you're not taking a stance, if you're, silent, you're complicit.

0:21:37.6 AM: Yeah. I mean, not saying something is taking a stand, right? That's what Martin Luther King said. And I think more and more consumers and people out there are holding us accountable for if you speak silent, I am not with you.

0:21:55.2 MH: And I do love how the idea that this campaign on consent on, you know, yes and taking that responsibility coming from a spirits company or coming from something that's always blamed on... Almost the victim blaming of, you know, such a person drink or whatever. That's a powerful message. So I just... Wanting to say how much I really, really admire this.

0:22:28.8 AM: Thank you. Thank you. Well, it's a team effort, so I'm very proud of our teams.

0:22:34.5 MH: So what do you think as the new CEO or the chairman CEO, and you're not that new anymore.

0:22:44.3 AM: Right. [laughter]

0:22:45.7 MH: It's been three years, although it's adjusted for COVID. How's it going now with return into in person, like with return of gatherings? How has it changed?

0:22:58.0 AM: Yeah, I... Look, I think it has changed and I think it's a positive change. I think pre-COVID the relationship was a bit skewed to, you know, I live to work. And so what does my employer need? And I think through COVID we now have come out on the other side where employers are asking employees, what do you need? And I think that's a really important shift in balance where it's not 100% about the employer and it's now become a relationship. And you know, I think we've all figured out that we don't have to always be... Depending upon what industry you work in, etcetera, you know, you don't always have to be in the office 100% of the time. I think now people are beginning to understand if I'm going to come in, I'm going to come in for purposeful work. And what I've learned is, look, could we work from home forever? We just proved we could. Yeah. I don't think it's sustainable. I don't think it's healthy.

0:24:10.4 MH: I agree.

0:24:10.9 AM: Right. I do think connecting with people, feeling people, understanding different perspectives, that's... We all know the right and left brain when you intersect those together, just like people, great ideas, great problem solving, great innovation. People feel valued. People feel belong. That's important. And so now it's just a question of how do you curate it? And you know, if there's a day where I'm just going to be on my computer all day and I don't have any meetings, stay home. You probably have better wifi anyway. Right. But you do need to curate those times where you should come in and figure out what is the right time and right way of collaboration. So I think now you have to work harder to figure out what that balance is, but those are the right conversations.

0:25:00.0 MH: I love that you just said how it's become a conversation between the employee and the employer and employers are listening. I've been saying for a while now that I have hope because I believe that companies learned in the last three years that people are people and they... We should be treated as people and we're grownups and we should be given the flexibility to make decisions. However, I've been reading a lot on the narratives of collectively how we're dealing with the workforce. And one of the narratives that I've been hearing a lot is women are not as ambitious anymore. What do you think? Do you think that's true?

0:25:39.5 AM: I will... It's a great topic. And I'm going to tell you my personal opinion. I have no facts on this.

0:25:49.6 MH: Yes.

0:25:49.7 AM: I think women are just as ambitious now as they were before. But I think what now women are saying to themselves is there's now multiple paths for me to be successful. And, you know, it's... I will tell you, it's not just women. I think it's also people of color. I've seen this trend where, you know, there's women who have always had to adjust themselves to fit into a man's world, people of color who've had to adjust their cultures to fit into this American or whatever this Americanized culture is. And they're all asking themselves, why? Why can't I be my whole self? Why can't I bring my whole self? And if that means, you know, I'm going to be successful a different way, I now have opportunities to do that. And, but what I would say to women and what I would say to people of color is do not give up. This is your moment. And it was interesting. I was on a... The person who really got me to see this a different way. She was amazing, was Secretary Hillary Clinton. So we were on a panel together and I was talking about this notion of, well, you know, women are like, I don't know if I want to come back to work because now I can work from home and have a career and a family and I can balance things. And as a woman who has gone through that struggle, I was like, Hey, that's right. You could.

0:27:13.2 AM: And she was the one who said, you know, Ann, don't go down that path because if only the men come back to work and no women come back to work, women are going to get behind. You got to find productive ways for them to come back. So, you know, ask them, what's your childcare needs? What's your... What other things do we need to do to make you successful? Introverts didn't want to come back, right? They were like, man, I can just sit. I don't have to pretend to be an extrovert anymore. So this is what I mean about we have to have a dialogue with everyone and look at people as people and not demographics and say, what can I do for you?

0:27:53.2 MH: Yes. And also just the fact that you just casually said you were on a panel with Hillary Clinton.

0:27:58.4 AM: I know I felt bad about saying that. I'm so sorry. I was like, I'm just sitting there in awe. Right. But... It doesn't happen every day, by the way. It was just one of those...

0:28:09.4 MH: Wow. But you know, it's bright. What you're saying, I would agree with you. I keep hearing this narrative on ambition and I'm like, I don't... I don't think it's ambition that's changed, I think it's priorities.

0:28:23.2 AM: Yes. Well said. Well said.

0:28:26.3 MH: Yeah. I think it's... I think we're realizing work is not our whole life, success is not dictated in one size fits all. And honestly, I actually have been thinking and talking a lot about where we've lost a lot of trust in the last few years, both in companies and the government and everything that's kind of outside of us.

0:28:48.8 AM: Yes. And I... And I would say this to everyone out there, which is, you know, everybody's like, Oh, can I really have it all? And my answer to that question is, of course you can, but over a lifetime, not every day. So it is about people taking responsibility about what do you want to accomplish over a lifetime? And one of the things that I love about the younger generation, 'cause you know, I just have... I had two twins that just turned 21 this week. They're finally adults and... And I listened to them and they're like, Mom, we're not, we're not going to have a career like you. We're not going to kill ourselves. And then when we're 65, maybe then we'll start enjoying. They're like, we're doing that now. And yeah, like it's just this generation that's coming up, I think they have a very different definition of success. How to experience it. Is it, do I give up something to get something? They're like, no, you can just do it now. Like, so it's refreshing. And if we can just embrace that, I think it will benefit all.

0:29:51.5 MH: I agree. Ann this has been great. I really want to keep talking to you.

0:29:54.6 AM: Oh, you're very kind. Same here.

0:29:58.8 MH: I will do our lightning round 'cause Megan will kill me if I don't, but before we do that, is there anything that you want me to ask that we haven't covered that you'd like to make sure we get into the podcast?

0:30:10.3 AM: Yeah. The only other thing I would say is the only other thing beyond this great conversation we had about employees and people, and it's also the planet. And I just wanted to bring that up because I think in COVID we all saw the pictures of like, you know, wildlife coming into streets because there were no cars. Like you could actually see... There was no smog. So the thing that I would... Even as an alcohol company, like we never think that when you're drinking a glass of tequila, you're drinking an agave plant, or when you're drinking bourbon, you're actually drinking corn and wheat. We make alcohol, but at the core we're an agriculture company and you know, nature and climate for us is if we don't have it, we don't have a company. So I think coming out of COVID our recommitment to the planet, to the climate, to the community, the people that connect with that. I mean, I just, as leaders out there, if anyone's listening, let's make sure we double down that on that too.

0:31:08.0 MH: Oh yeah, that's such a great point. Thank you for... Thank you for adding that. And also the agriculture part was just... Blew my mind. I had not thought about it that way. I'm like, oh yeah, you're right.

0:31:21.3 AM: Like without the earth we're done. There's no more alcohol.


0:31:27.8 MH: Please, please let's keep the agaves. I really do like my tequila. Okay. So we're going to do the lightning round.

0:31:35.5 AM: Okay.

0:31:36.8 MH: Dream dinner guest.

0:31:41.5 AM: My mother. I didn't get to grow up with her and boy, would I love to have a dinner with her.

0:31:48.2 MH: Oh, I love that. Monday morning staple.

0:31:53.6 AM: Lots of coffee, lots and lots and lots of coffee.

0:31:57.9 MH: I'm with you on that one. Top self care practice.

0:32:05.2 AM: I've combined two things into one. I actually swim an hour every day because that brings in not just my workout, but my meditation and giving my brain some relaxation time as I listen to Bollywood music as I swim.

0:32:20.4 MH: Ooh, I like that. And finally, what's one question or thought you'd want to leave with our listeners?

0:32:29.8 AM: What's the why of what you do and how that enhances the what you do. What's the legacy you want to leave behind? Because then it makes every action in your day and in your life that much more meaningful. For me, it's, you know, it's unleashing the gifts that people don't even know they have. And if I can help them see it, I want them to not only do what's possible, but for them to feel that they can do what is impossible. And that drives every action I do every day.

0:33:07.5 MH: I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that and for sharing your story. And this was great. I personally had a lot of fun.

0:33:15.0 AM: You're wonderful to talk to. Thank you again for the time. I really appreciate it.


0:33:26.0 MH: Man, that just makes me want to talk to her again. I could have talked to her for hours.

0:33:31.5 MO: People might know this if they listen to the podcast religiously, but I'm one of the... Part of the team that books the podcast guests and her pitch came through. And so we get a lot of pitches in. So there are some that we reach out to them. There are some that they reach out to us, but her pitch came in and I read that bio and I was like, are you... Are you kidding me? Absolutely will we have you on the podcast. Amazing bio, just amazing work of an alcohol company addressing the issues of consent and the issues that alcohol has in the world of consent. Like just phenomenal stuff. I was like, yes, absolutely. 100%.

0:34:11.9 MH: Yeah. She's great. And she's doing a lot and she's, you know, was an outsider coming into a company and that's never easy. And that's a lot of transformation. So kudos to her. Definitely she now... She has a spot now in my role model category.

0:34:27.7 MO: Oh yeah.

0:34:30.5 MH: So normally here is where I would be telling you about all of our Roundtables. But since it is the week of Thanksgiving, we're actually on a break, but we'll be back next week and hope you can join us to meet some of our Ellevate community at the Executive Roundtable, Tuesdays at 1:00 PM Eastern, our Rising Leaders Roundtable, Thursdays at noon Eastern or Entrepreneurs Roundtable Thursdays at 4:00 PM Eastern. We're always there and we're always happy to see new faces.

0:34:57.7 MO: But even if we don't have Roundtables this week, there's still history being made every single week.

0:35:03.3 MH: Always.

0:35:03.6 MO: Always. And I... I'm going to go ahead and start out. I'm going to just call it now. I'm going to start out our history maker segment this week because I'm really excited about the first one.

0:35:10.1 MH: I was waiting for you to start this one.

0:35:13.1 MO: I'm a fan of hers. She's fabulous. Starr Andrews became the first US black figure skater to win an ISU Grand Prix medal. So she's such a good skater. She's young. She's still up and coming. She literally skated, I think it was last year's program or maybe it was earlier this year's program to her own recording of a song. Like she went into a studio and like recorded and then used that. She's so cool. And just her... If you guys want to fun Google today, Google her reaction to her score. She's like gasping, she cannot believe it's like a personal best score. It's the best. So Starr Andrews star on the rise.

0:35:57.2 MH: Amazing. Dr. Mariam Saleh Bin Laden became the first Arab woman to swim across the red sea between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Holy wow.

0:36:08.2 MO: I know.

0:36:10.0 MH: This woman has lungs of steel.

0:36:12.5 MO: I know. I was like, I think I saw that she did it in like four hours. If you put me... If you tried to give me to swim across a sea, I would be dead, first of all.

0:36:22.1 MH: If you try to make me swim for four hours in a pool, I would not survive.

0:36:28.3 MO: I don't think I could tread water for four hours.

0:36:30.3 MH: No.

0:36:31.9 MO: No, absolutely. Yeah. Amazing. When I saw that one, I was like, okay, that's incredible. And she's a doctor. I was like, this woman is a miracle worker.

0:36:42.3 MH: Yeah. She... That's... It's pretty... It's pretty impressive. Yeah, definitely.

0:36:47.7 MO: So, and then moving on, Ashwini KP is the first Asian-Dalit woman to be appointed as UN Special Rapporteur for racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.

0:37:00.9 MH: Wow. Julianna Plexo became the first Latina under the age of 30 to be nominated for the university of Berkeley's young talent of the year at the Berkeley world business analytics awards.

0:37:13.9 MO: Yay. Jessica Inaba became the UK's first black and blind barrister.

0:37:20.6 MH: Wow. Jyothi Yarraji became the first Indian woman to clock a legal sub 13 second time in the 100 meter hurdles. We have some really great athletes today.

0:37:33.4 MO: And you want to talk about an event that I absolutely... I can barely run. If you were to put hurdles in front of me, face-plant, every time.

0:37:40.5 MH: I mean, I have... My legs are way too short.

0:37:45.7 MO: You're literally a runner.

0:37:47.6 MH: And yet my legs are way too short for hurdles.

0:37:51.8 MO: Absolutely. I've seen shorter women and men do hurdles and I'm like, and they just jump really high. And I'm like, I don't know how you do this.

0:38:00.2 MH: Even though running is just a series of jumps on one leg. Yeah. You can't jump.

0:38:05.3 MO: No, no. I'm terrible. And it's one of those things where in your head you think you're jumping like a million feet in the air and you've got like an inch.

0:38:13.4 MH: I know. Anyway, we can dream. We can admire these wonderful women who are doing great things and who are, you know, crushing records and getting to new heights.

0:38:27.3 MO: Absolutely.

0:38:27.4 MH: Next week you'll... We'll have a very cool episode actually with Julie Holunga. Julie has been a member of the Ellevate community for a really long time. We have a blast talking about all different things. She's a coach who trains and develops small, medium-sized business leaders, attorneys, and CPAs to bring their careers to the next level. She's also a TEDx speaker and we talk about that and lots of communication strategy. So come back and listen to my conversation with Julie next week. I'm sure you'll get something out of it.

0:39:01.5 MO: Absolutely.

0:39:02.6 MH: Bye-bye.

0:39:04.8 MO: Bye.


0:39:10.4 Outro: Thanks so much for listening to Ellevate. If you like what you hear, help a girl out. Subscribe to the Ellevate podcast on iTunes. Give us five stars and share your review. Also, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @EllevateNtwk, that's Ellevate Network and become a member. You can learn all about membership and all the great things that Ellevate Network is doing at our website that's and special thanks to our producer Katharine Heller. She rocks and to our voiceover artist Rachel Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.