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Leaving a Cushy Corporate Life and Following Your Passion, with Amanda Cotler

Leaving a Cushy Corporate Life and Following Your Passion, with Amanda Cotler

We sit down with Amanda Cotler, Director of Operations for Accel Lifestyle, to discuss climbing the corporate ladder, making difficult decisions, and sustainable fashion.


0:00:30.1 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 versus Wade on June 24th, 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.

0:01:16.0 Intro: Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast, Conversations With Women Changing the Face of Business. And now your host, Maricella Herrera.


0:01:34.3 MH: Hi everyone, welcome to the Ellevate Podcast. I'm Maricella Herrera, your host and the CEO of Ellevate Network. And today, in the spirit of continuing to show you some of our Humans of Ellevate, some of the people behind the scenes you don't get to know otherwise, I have with me as my guest cohost, Christina Murphy. How are you Christina?

0:02:00.9 Christina Murphy: Hi Maricella. I'm good.

0:02:03.3 MH: Christina has been part of our team for a while now, and she currently sits in the marketing team and is the voice behind a lot of our communications. Can you share a little bit with the audience about your role and your journey in Ellevate?

0:02:21.8 CM: Yes, definitely. I started as the customer service person, so you definitely saw my name if you emailed Ellevate but you probably still see my name now on marketing emails, so you'll always see like signed... I always try to sign the email something fun, so you'll always see like, 'This is your time, Christina.' I am marketing coordinator, and I own all three newsletters, so on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, if you're subscribed, you'll see something from me in your inbox.

0:02:54.4 MH: It's interesting, you did start as customer service, and this was a few years ago, I remember when we brought you on board, yours has been one of the interviews where I walk out and I'm like, 'Yep, we don't need to talk to anyone else.'

0:03:08.0 CM: I remember I was like, 'So why are there two Ls in Ellevate?'


0:03:17.3 MH: It's French.

0:03:18.7 CM: Yes.

0:03:22.0 MH: But you did customer service, and I think that that's a huge part of why you do so well with our newsletter and communications, 'cause you got to know our community really well.

0:03:36.0 CM: Yeah, yeah, and I like to think of myself as a people person, so I think that doesn't hurt when you're doing customer service for your full-time job. And then when it moves to a more creative outlet as in marketing emails, I think that history in customer experience definitely helps.

0:03:53.9 MH: Yeah, it's good, you have that, you have that, and you are absolutely a people person, that I have no doubt. So what have you been up to? Tell us a little bit, what are you enjoying? I know you've recently revamped the newsletters that are going out. So everyone, if you're not receiving our emails, please go to, that's Ellevate with two Ls, and sign up for our community, you'll start getting our newsletters, you'll have access to events, you'll have access to content and videos and so much stuff that is helpful when you're thinking about your career and where you wanna go. And you'll get the emails from Christina, particularly, the one that I'm really looking forward to every week now, is the Wednesday emails, which are fun and give a little bit more context to who we are and what we're doing. What would you wanna show people through those?

0:04:57.2 CM: Right, yeah. We try to make them like you can read it in two minutes, it's kind of a snack during your Wednesday, we call it The Weekly Ellevate Pick-Me-Up, I also call it Welcome to Wednesday 'cause I think that's just like a fun... Wednesday is like a dreary day, so I try to make it a super fun, readable, very quick what we're doing at Ellevate or just facts about us as a company or what we're doing inside, so it's very fun and it's very brightly coloured, so if you're someone like me who is very attracted to bright-coloured things, I think you'll really like it, so give it a read and subscribe.

0:05:43.5 MH: Awesome. Well, Christina, today we're actually going to go to an interview I did with someone that is also very close to the Ellevate family. Her name's Amanda Cotler, she is the director of operations for Accel Lifestyle, a global active wear brand that's disrupting the textile industry with antibacterial fabric, it's actually quite amazing. She sent me a T-shirt when she heard... When we were doing the podcast, and I told her I was training for the marathon and it doesn't stink.

0:06:17.9 CM: Wow.

0:06:18.0 MH: Which is a lot to say when you're running 18 miles, so very, very cool stuff, and Amanda is one of our chapter leaders, who are our ambassadors around the world, and she has been fantastic. So I have a great conversation with her, we even do a little bit of improv, hope you all enjoy it, and we'll see you back after for a chat.


0:06:52.4 MH: Thanks for being here today, I'm so excited to have a conversation with one of our amazing Ellevate chapter leaders, this time from Houston, Amanda Cotler. Amanda, how are you?

0:07:06.9 Amanda Cotler: I am doing great. Thank you so much for having me today, I am surviving this 100-degree weather in Houston and staying in air conditioning, which is just feeling like pure bliss right now.

0:07:20.0 MH: Oh my God. I was complaining about New York, but that sounds horrifying.

0:07:29.0 AC: It is next level, I would say sitting by a body of water or air conditioning is definitely the move of summer. And I'm jokingly saying, I'll see everybody else in October once it cools down.

0:07:44.6 MH: That's how I feel in the winter, I like hibernate from January through March.

0:07:51.0 AC: I can absolutely understand, bravo for sticking it out in the cold.

0:07:56.4 MH: Yeah, no, I'm from El Salvador, I'm not made for it.


0:08:02.0 MH: So Amanda, why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your background, and what you are doing?

0:08:08.9 AC: Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of, thank you so much for having me here today, I am thrilled to just really deep dive with you, and a little bit about myself, I am from Houston, I went to school in Charleston, South Carolina, where I ate pizza on the beach for four years and managed to pass my classes, and then once I graduated college, I came back to Houston, and I thought the only way to be successful was to grind hard, climb the corporate ladder and make it to the top. So my first job out of school, I was working for a large oil and gas company doing investor relations. And it was my dream role, it was the perfect hybrid between finance, marketing, and communications, and I worked directly with the C-suite, the board of directors, I had the 411 on what every department was working on and I knew exactly how teams worked together.

0:09:05.8 AC: So as time passed, our company and the majority of our peer group actually filed for a Chapter 11. So who do you think was on the other line of the phone with investors calling, asking on the status of their lost money? And it was horrible. And every day, I received hate mail, a whole stack of it. And so I was juggling this stressful corporate job, I was living the millennial lifestyle that any 25-year-old gal would be, and I just felt like a rodeo rider and I was totally burnt out. And I needed this creative outlet and I wanted to meet other dynamic women, so this is where the fireworks happened, and I found Ellevate. And I was the youngest member to join the chapter leadership team, and here I am six years later. And I've met incredible women who are seasoned in their career and have taken me under their sleeves.

0:10:05.2 AC: So while I was also juggling corporate and really deep diving into Ellevate, I met Megan Eddings who's the founder and CEO of Accel Lifestyle. Our initial lunch led to just goal setting and planning and strategizing, and I can still remember that energy today. So I just started side-hustling with her, I really wanted to dive in deeper. And a few months later, Megan actually asked me to be the director of operations and first employee to Accel Lifestyle, and I was floored, I was ready to put in my notice. But I'm pretty analytical, and I wanted to make sure the risk was worth leaving my 401K and cushy corporate life. So I reached out to a few women on the Ellevate chapter leadership team, and they helped me realise, It's safe to jump on a sky rocket ship and leave corporate to join the startup life. So that's when I really realised that traditional four-year degree, corporate climb, it's not the only way to achieve success and really feel accomplished. So five years later, here I am, I resigned from corporate, I followed my passion to create a sustainable apparel brand, and I've helped lead the startup to become a multimillion-dollar company in under 12 months, and it's been one of the most rewarding feelings.

0:11:42.0 MH: The story is so amazing, just hearing you go from oil and gas to now a sustainable brand, just completely... It's like me going from banking to Ellevate. But it's just amazing that you took that risk. And all of what you're saying leads me to ask, how did you lean... You're talking about Ellevate and how that helped you, how did you lean on the people in your network to help make this decision?

0:12:14.0 AC: That's a great question. Asking for help. I think it's so easy for women and... Me specifically, I don't like to ask for help, 'I got this, don't worry about it.' And that's when I had developed these relationships with the women on the team and I just had one-on-one talks with them, and I said, 'I'd be willing to carve out some time to connect.' And they were honest with me. And I really set time out to connect with women, friends, family, experiences. And at the time, not many people in my peer group had left corporate, I was just a few years out of college and I only had one friend who was on the entrepreneurial journey, so it was very new, I would say.

0:13:09.9 MH: That's exciting though. I love the phrase that you use, 'It's okay to jump on a rocket ship.' I wanna put it on my wall now.


0:13:17.1 AC: Thank you, and if you want T-shirts printed, I can make that happen for you too.

0:13:23.0 MH: I love that idea. Can we have Ellevate somewhere on it?

0:13:26.0 AC: Exactly, exactly.

0:13:29.8 MH: So when you were dealing with getting all of these calls from angry investors, you mentioned burnout, and that's something that I think we keep hearing about constantly, particularly after the last three years, and we know that it affects women a lot more. And actually, I've been reading a lot about it, how it also has to do with perfectionism, just as much as impostor syndrome does. And so I was gonna ask, How did you deal with that burnout and how did you manage to like take a step from that?

0:14:03.9 AC: That is a great question. At the time, it was my first time experiencing that. I was very eager to dive into a new role doing investor relations, and it was very challenging. And what's really stuck with me is living a sustainable life, the have-it-all mantra for professional women was so last decade, this whole workaholic mentality is just a never-ending rat race to hit that next raise or get the next title change or just drive yourself crazy to hit that next milestone and finally get that fulfilled feeling. And today, that just has totally changed and we're focused on living a more sustainable lifestyle, and sustainability is all about making the most of your time without risking burnout.

0:15:01.2 AC: So some ways to combat that, I would say, is getting comfortable with saying 'no'. I think that's one of the most challenging things for me because I love having a fully booked schedule and calendar and meeting new people and going to the gym and balancing work. But I just think that we need to press pause and we want to feel like Superwoman. But let's get real, there are some days that we've left our cape at the dry cleaners, and it's awesome taking one item off the list, but you're immediately flooded with another one. So I would recommend just committing to what you only have time for and the headspace to do and to focus on efficiency 'cause it's not about how much time we have, but it's how we use that time, and to be fully operational working at it 10 out of 10 without pure exhaustion.

0:16:05.7 MH: I want to call this episode I Left My Cape at the Dry Cleaner, but...


0:16:10.0 AC: I love it.

0:16:13.0 MH: That's how I feel half the time.

0:16:16.0 AC: I agree, I am very much with you.

0:16:21.0 MH: The rat race is something that had been so normalised in the last few generations that I love to hear when I talk to people who are just like, 'You know what? I redefined success for me, I redefined what that meant.' It's not necessarily what it meant for my mom or my parents or my bosses, it's something different. And I love to think about that in the way you're stating it as sustainability 'cause it's what makes it sustainable for you.

0:16:55.1 AC: Oh my gosh, this is like music to my ears, I don't think you could have said it any more perfectly.

0:17:03.0 MH: Yeah, I always think about that but in my past career, when I came to Ellevate, a lot of people would ask me like, What am I doing? And I was like, 'This is how I'm defining success.'

0:17:15.0 AC: I agree.

0:17:15.2 MH: 'If I have the opportunity to work with people I like, do things I love, and make an impact, then why not?'

0:17:22.9 AC: I agree. And you never know where it's going to take you. It's funny when I initially joined Accel Lifestyle, we all started because our founder, Megan, who has a chemistry background, and at the time she was selling MRI machines for Fortune 500 companies, and she was sick of throwing away her husband's stinky workout clothes 'cause we all know that odour that lingers no matter how many times you wash it. And a little bit about Accel is, we were the first to market antibacterial self-cleaning fabric without toxins that is sourced and manufactured 100% in the US. And we initially launched as a fitness apparel company for men and women but that was just the beginning, merging the worlds of technology and fashion. And as the director of operations, we've just propelled growth in customer awareness and driving supply chain that during the pandemic, we pivoted. Because all of our manufacturing is in the US, we had the ability to manufacture face masks, and we had our factories in LA open to pump out masks. And I still remember, to this day, one of my favourite memories is just seeing how versatile it can be because signing up for Accel and officially saying 'yes', I had no idea that I was going from a fashion company to now even having a medical wing.

0:19:00.3 AC: And one of my favourite stories that made it happen was when we were making these masks, I came to one of our chapter leadership calls and we were sharing what we were working on professionally and personally, and I told the women that I needed more sewers, I was having trouble with reopening our factory in LA because at the time the Covid cases were so terrible, this is in March. And one of the gals on the call, Miriam, she said, 'Well, this is a little bit unrelated, but I know the director of supply chain for the US Navy and their vendor just fell through and they need 50,000 face masks.' And I remember just my jaw bang the floor, I had absolutely no idea how the team and I were gonna make this happen but I knew that we had to say 'yes'. And I only said 'yes' because I've been taking improv classes and the whole premise is to 'yes, and' everything in your life.

0:20:03.0 AC: So we made it happen, and we got them their face masks. And they needed them in seven business days, we got them in six. I mean, there was no way that we were gonna miss that deadline. And we just figured it out and made it happen. And now we have worked with the US Navy hospitals, companies across the US So just pivoting from a fashion brand to now having a medical wing and licensing fabric, it's been wild.

0:20:37.5 MH: Everything about that story is incredible, I love that it happened on an Ellevate call, and I love Miriam, so absolutely great. But wow, I mean you were open to the opportunity, your business was open to the opportunity, how did you get people to rally behind it, so to make it happen even in like less time than you would've thought possible, really?

0:21:02.7 AC: You would be very surprised how eager people are to help, and something I've learned the hard way is... Of course, I don't like to ask for help, I don't like to ask for favours, but if I just ask, I will receive, I've learned. And having great people in your corner, I mean having great partnerships, having people who are willing to connect you to other people, it's really powerful. And really utilising that. And people genuinely want to help you, and people are very kind and generous, so I'm very grateful for that.

0:21:42.5 MH: People really do wanna help, it's great to see that. I wanted to ask you a little bit... You were talking about the fabric and the process, and as director of operations, you're managing all of that, but one thing from what you do at Accel Lifestyle is that it's all very sustainable, and I've seen you write on Ellevate and on Forbes about circular fashion, about sustainability, and why us professional women, we're all moving from fast fashion. And I've been thinking a lot about this, as I think I need to start dressing a little bit less sportswear all the time. Tell me a little bit about sustainable fashion, circular fashion, and what we can do as individuals to be better with our environment.

0:22:34.0 AC: That is such a great question, and I am just so passionate about sustainable fashion. Today, professional women, they're just savvy and they not only pay attention to the quality of their garments, but the entire supply chain production processes and the product afterlife, which is something that's definitely more of a focal point now. And they're more aware, what a hang tag is saying, and if it uses the word 'sustainable', they don't know what that really means. Are they using clean processes to develop that garment? They're not completely sure. So one of the biggest culprits, I would say, in the fashion industry is what we call fast fashion, and they're clothes that are made cheaply to meet the demands of hot new styles. So for women to support sustainable fashion, to wear clothes that are meant to last longer, that are going to be made to support the environment and the afterlife of that garment, a few questions that they can ask themselves are, How is this fabric created? Because we all know not all fabrics are created the same. Are they made to last? Is it limiting the amount of fabric waste when they are producing the garment? Are they aware of the environmental impact that the fabric is producing?

0:24:08.0 AC: Some of the most sustainable materials are natural fibres, so think cotton, hemp, linen, and any sort of futuristic, innovative fabric. And we're all moving away from these cheap synthetic fabrics, so think polyester, nylon, spandex. And those are also the ones that are gonna hold on to odour the most, so keep that in mind, I always like to put that in my back pocket in these hot summer months. So to be more sustainable, I would just pay attention to the brands that you're purchasing from. Are they utilising transparency? Are they putting all of their information on their website, of the processes and what fabrics they're using? Do they really mean it, and do they have the support to prove it? Does the brand take initiatives with the fabrics they're using, and are they committed to ethical and sustainable practices?

0:25:07.9 MH: And is there a place where you can find information on that about brands like... What you said about the label, the tags as sustainable, but then you don't really know what that means, I resonate with that so much because I want to buy sustainable. And right now, I'm literally on your site because I'm gonna start training for the New York City Marathon and I need my new running clothing, and I'm like, 'Ooh, this is it.' But it's easy to get down in that trap of like, 'Oh, it's so sustainable, it's also organic, it should be good.'

0:25:43.2 AC: Exactly. Well, that's a great question. And huge congratulations in advance for marathon training, I give you many, many kudos.

0:25:51.2 MH: We'll see if I actually go through with it, thank you.

0:25:55.2 AC: I'm cheering you on, you got it. I would say my favourite source, it's called The Good On You app, and it's essentially a SparkNotes on certain brands. And an example that I would give is something that drives me a little bit crazy is they'll manufacture things overseas but then they'll ship it to America and they'll sew on the final label, the care label and the main label that has the sizing on it. And for that reason that they're sewing those in the US, they can say 'Made in the US.'

0:26:33.7 MH: Really?

0:26:35.4 AC: Mm-hmm, so it's very interesting where the garment is actually made, where items are sewn. And the Good on You app does a phenomenal job of deep diving into brands.

0:26:49.7 MH: I am going to check that out. Thank you for that, that's something I never heard of, and I did not know that brands did that, and with that, can get away with like 'produced here.'

0:27:00.4 AC: It's absolutely mind-boggling to me.

0:27:03.9 MH: I wanna go do something fun because you said you have been taking improv classes. How has that helped you? I mean I think I... Kudos to you on that one. I've been saying I'm gonna sign up for improv classes for the last five years, and I still haven't done it.

0:27:20.8 AC: Well, I will admit it is very scary to dive into, I never thought I'd be doing this. And it was during the pandemic when I needed a fun outlet, I was taking tennis, that fell through. And I knew I wanted to do something, and I ended up watching a masterclass with Sara Blakely, and she is the founder and CEO of Spanx, and she said she got into Neiman Marcus right off the bat because she was taking improv classes for two years. And I immediately started googling improv theatres here in Houston. And I was so nervous, I ended up calling them and I signed up immediately. And what I've learned is it's helped with communication and connection. You have this overarching theme of being curious and constantly learning, and you get to work in a team environment. I like to say it's the best team sport you could ever sign up for. And just for those viewers who may not know what improv is, it's a form of live theatre where the plot characters, dialog of a game, scene, or story are made up in that moment, and they're drawn to the unexpected. So there are so many benefits that I could rattle on all day of how I've seen it help with business, whether it is on a sales perspective or public speaking or team dynamics. I mean it's just unbelievable the benefits from it.

0:29:02.2 MH: How do you think it... I'm curious about team dynamics because I've heard a lot of how it's great for thinking on your feet, because that's what you're doing. But you just called it like the... Did you say 'the best' or 'the most powerful team sport'? And I'm very, very curious as to how you think about that.

0:29:22.4 AC: Essentially, if you think about improv, you are on stage, you're listening to somebody from your troupe or class, you're catching on to every word that they're saying and you're reacting, but you're also flowing with them, working together to create this storyline. And it's all about active listening and communicating, so being a member on that stage, you are working hand in hand with this other individual, you have absolutely no idea what's gonna come out of their mouth but you're going to learn to roll with it. And in a team environment, maybe you're not seeing eye to eye with somebody on your team. Put on your playful hat and listen, truly listen to what they have to say, and you'll be able to communicate better with them, in my opinion.

0:30:17.0 MH: I think you're right. If you're actively listening, and like you said, you have to say 'yes', 'yes' and 'no' and build on their ideas, I think it's much more powerful.

0:30:31.7 AC: Exactly, it's a matter of when you 'yes, and' it, you may not necessarily be agreeing, but you're accepting, 'I hear what you're saying and let's work together on X, Y, and Z.' So I just think it's such a powerful source that any team could do together.

0:30:53.6 MH: I love that, I think it could be actually a very powerful team exercise, if you think about it.

0:31:00.0 AC: I couldn't agree more.

0:31:02.0 MH: So what if I told you, 'Amanda, there's aliens starting to invade New York'?


0:31:10.5 AC: Then we're gonna come up with a whole plot on, 'We all thought that aliens were too snobby for America, and they never wanted to come, but now they've accepted that we have the best air conditioning around, so they need a new change of scenery.'


0:31:29.0 MH: Thank you for entertaining my silliness.

0:31:33.7 AC: Thank you for indulging and playing with me.

0:31:36.9 MH: So in the past few months, we're coming into a recession, last few years, we were coming into Covid... Or not coming, surviving Covid.

0:31:49.0 AC: Yeah, exactly.

0:31:53.1 MH: What are some of the questions you've asked yourself as you're making difficult decisions?

0:31:57.3 AC: That's a really, really great question. I would say, Staying true to your roots and values. I think on a business perspective, especially in the apparel space, as an example, or any sort of brand, collaboration is key. But I know that I have to make the tough decision on when to scale back and stay true to our values. So it's being very mindful of staying true to our roots and values.

0:32:32.4 MH: And it's hard making those decisions.

0:32:35.4 AC: It really is because it could do X, Y, and Z for your company and take you to the next level but at the end of the day, I couldn't put my head down at night knowing that, for instance, I partnered up with a company who does not support ethical manufacturing and has sweatshop workers or anything along those lines. It's really important to be mindful of, What is it that my company stands for? And, How can I work together with the right partner? And being selective of who you are truly working with.

0:33:12.9 MH: And it's what you're saying. Right? You said it perfectly, values as your decision-making guidepost.

0:33:21.1 AC: Exactly.

0:33:22.7 MH: Yeah, we deal with that a lot at Ellevate, with using our voice when things come up, like the overturn of Roe versus Wade or other things that are more political in nature but I think of it the same way you think about this, which is, We have a responsibility, what are the values that we're living by? And that's it.

0:33:46.3 AC: Exactly, I don't think I could have said it perfectly, we're on the same wavelength.

0:33:52.1 MH: Well, before we go, I'm gonna go into the lightning round... Well, actually, before we go into the lightning round, anything else you want me to ask you that I haven't asked you or that you wanna plug or cover?

0:34:06.3 AC: Great question. Honestly, I feel like we have covered a lot, so I feel pretty good.

0:34:13.7 MH: Okay, cool. So then we're gonna go into the lightning round. I'm gonna ask some questions and you have to answer in one sentence or less, which will be easy for you with your improv chops.

0:34:26.1 AC: Perfect, challenge accepted.

0:34:29.3 MH: Favourite day of the week?

0:34:31.2 AC: Saturday, because that includes sleeping in and hitting my back-to-back spin and boxing class.

0:34:37.9 MH: Oh, wow, I'm exhausted just hearing about those two together.


0:34:44.2 MH: Dream dinner guest?

0:34:46.0 AC: Sara Blakely.

0:34:48.1 MH: Yeah, she's great. Favourite recent read?

0:34:52.2 AC: Ooh, Obsessed by Emily Heyward.

0:34:56.6 MH: Oh, let me check that out. Top self-care practice? And you can't say 'spinning and boxing'.

0:35:04.6 AC: Okay, I'll give you another one. I would say disconnecting from my phone to be present, but I would say a good runner up is 10 hours of sleep.

0:35:15.7 MH: I wish I could do that. What's your secret to getting like a solid, solid sleep?

0:35:22.8 AC: I will wear myself out like crazy during the day and then by the time it's nighttime, I will go to sleep for 10 hours straight.

0:35:33.1 MH: Wow, that's nice.

0:35:35.7 AC: It's incredible, I couldn't ask for anything better.

0:35:40.1 MH: And finally, what's one question or thought you want to leave with our listeners today?

0:35:46.1 AC: Ooh, that's a great one. I would say that with every challenge, there is a new opportunity to succeed.

0:35:55.9 MH: I love that.

0:35:58.7 AC: Thank you.

0:35:58.8 MH: I love that. I mean you're leaving me with a bunch, I'm not gonna lie, that's one very challenging opportunity to succeed. It's okay to jump in a rocket ship and my cape is at the dry cleaner.

0:36:10.9 AC: I feel like we have a whole line of shirts to be printed or stickers to be made from this conversation.


0:36:20.1 MH: Yes. I love it. Well, thank you, Amanda, for joining me, and we'll see you next time.

0:36:27.1 AC: Thank you. I so appreciate your time, and this was wonderful.

0:36:35.9 MH: What did you think?

0:36:37.8 CM: That was awesome, I really need to look into this company. I go to the gym, I do weightlifting, and I can tell you it stinks in there, as probably one of the only women in there, it really stinks, so I should either give it out to the men in my gym or myself because that is awesome.

0:37:00.6 MH: Yeah, they're very cool, and I think Amanda has a great story of how her career evolved. And she's just so bubbly, I really like her, I had so much fun doing that interview, so I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

0:37:15.8 CM: Shout out to her, producer Megan here, just want to come in to say that I have worked with Amanda for years now, absolutely adore her, one of the nicest people in the entire world. And I worked with her all the way back when she was submitting articles and I was editing articles, she is just the sweetest, she also sent me a shirt. And when we got this scheduled, I was like, 'Yes, I just... ' I love her.

0:37:40.7 MH: Yeah, she's amazing and she's super smart, so check out her content, there's a lot of her articles on the Ellevate side. And if you wanna meet other people like Amanda, join us for one of our round tables, we do these every week, we always talk about them here. And the ones coming up, Tuesdays at 1:00 PM, that's the executive round table, I'm there every week, so come see me. We're gonna be talking about best practices for a gender inclusive workplace. Our Rising Leaders, who meet on Thursdays at noon, will be talking about how to find and develop mentor relationships. Our entrepreneurs, Thursdays at 4:00 PM Eastern, we'll be talking about data as storytelling, I feel like I should go to that. And our Women Seeking Confidence Roundtable, which is once a month, this time they'll be talking about managing people's expectations. You thinking of checking any of these out, Christina?

0:38:40.1 CM: Oh yeah, Rising Leaders, I feel like I need to make space every single week on Thursdays at 12:00 to be there because there's always something... There's always something really interesting going on, whether it's the topic or in the breakout room, and I just love meeting our members.

0:38:57.0 MH: The Rising Leaders, there's this energy about it but I highly recommend everyone to come. I don't know if you know Christina, but every week we talk about some good news. This is our history maker segment, where we cheer on women who are making strides, making news, I do not wanna say 'breaking the glass ceiling', but they're breaking the glass ceiling. There's a lot of times where it's sad to see so many firsts still happening, like, How are things not more normalised? But for as long as we can, we will continue to celebrate and we will continue to raise awareness of this. Megan, who you hear every now and then on our podcast, is also sharing these on our TikTok and our Instagram, so you can also go and see more content there. Do you wanna do the honours with the first one of our history makers this week?

0:40:00.3 CM: Sure, let's do it. Zendaya became the first black woman to win an Emmy for best lead actress twice.

0:40:08.2 MH: Grace Mercado-Ouano became the first Filipino American to be bestowed the pontifical order of knighthood in the Catholic church.

0:40:18.4 CM: Andy Dubrava became the first female executive chef of Rustic Canyon.

0:40:25.2 MH: Kelly Robinson will become the first black queer woman to lead the human rights campaign.

0:40:31.3 CM: Stephanie Gilmore became the first woman to win eight world surfing titles.

0:40:35.9 MH: That is so cool. Georgia Maloney became Italy's first woman prime minister. So congratulations, those are our firsts.

0:40:44.8 CM: Amazing.

0:40:47.6 MH: Stephanie Gilmer sounds so cool. If there's one thing I wish I had learned when I was younger was how to surf.

0:40:55.3 CM: Yeah, that would be a very, very awesome sport to know how to do.

0:41:00.1 MH: Yeah, I barely know how to run, so. Anyway, well, thanks for hanging out with us today, Christina, thanks for being here, I know you'll be here next week as well, so we'll get to talking more and our listeners will get to know you a little bit more. Next week, we have Lynn Wooten, she is the first black president of Simmons University and the coauthor of The Prepared Leader, which she wrote with Erica James. She's one of her friends that met during grad school, I believe, and they both are academics. And I will tell you, I had such a great conversation with Lynn, I'm her number-one fan. And then I realised just last week that Lynn and Erica are also on the Brené Brown Podcast, so for those of you who have heard my obsession with Brené Brown, it was a big moment for me.

0:42:05.6 CM: Little fangirl moment.

0:42:07.4 MH: A little fangirl moment. I'm like, 'I know that person!' It's happened a couple of times with some of Brené Brown's guests, and it always makes me smile. Anyway, Lynn is amazing and we talk tons of stuff about leading in crisis, about diversity, equity and inclusion, how to create change in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope y'all do too, see you here next week.

0:42:35.2 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 E-L-L-E-V-A-T-E And special thanks to our producer Katherine Heller, she rocks, and to our voiceover artist, Rachel Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.