Actress. Mother. Entrepreneur. Is there anything Jessica Alba can't do? When the star was pregnant with her first daughter, Honor, she couldn't find natural baby products on the market that she felt safe using. Rather than being discouraged, Alba decided to create her own company for safe products, now known as The Honest Company.
Today, she regards that decision as one of the boldest moves she's ever made—which falls in line with this year's theme for International Women’s Day theme, #BeBoldForChange. Alba decided to take to LinkedIn to address females around the world with a heartfelt personal essay, encouraging all women to achieve their full potential.
To all women around the world,
Today is International Women’s Day. To many it’s a typical calendar date, but to me, it’s a day to reflect on the importance of being BOLD and how we can all challenge ourselves to #BeBoldForChange.
I’ve never been one to shy away from asking questions, having opinions and speaking my mind. One of my BOLDEST moments was while I was pregnant with my first daughter, Honor. I was on a quest to find safe and effective products for myself, my child and my home and was surprised at how difficult and overwhelming it was to weed through all of the options and filter out all the noise in the marketplace. There wasn’t one brand that I trusted with what mattered most to me. When talking to friends and other parents, I realized I wasn’t alone. The idea for The Honest Company was born.
But how would I articulate this concept to the world? And who were the right people to collaborate with? The process of finding out wasn’t easy, but having purpose and passion gives you the determination to answer any question. Even with years of research and preparation, I had to act upon the best information and people I could find and just take a risk--that’s what being BOLD is about.
Once Honest became more established, I knew we had to make it a creative place for growth and development for our employees. We currently have an ongoing, female-run leadership program for employees. The next step is to develop an Honest Female Leadership program that will create an outlet for conversation and advancement. As workplaces continue to evolve, we must be mindful of how our thoughts and actions support that process. It’s important to have an honest and transparent dialogue in the workplace. I strongly believe in collaborating cross functionally and not working in silos. Often times, leaders only want to interface with people that are on their level. Interacting with people at every level and across disciplines creates a more diverse understanding about the culture and how to move things forward. It’s not just smart business practice -- it’s BOLD and it will help you everywhere in life.
Being a woman in business doesn’t come without its challenges. My advice? Surround yourself with other supportive women that encourage you, share ideas and get you motivated. I’m fortunate to know more than a few BOLD women continuously shaking up their relevant industries, including Mary Dillon, Tory Burch, Sheryl Sandberg and Laura Flanagan.
At the end of the day, you may not make the rules - yet - but you can create the reality you want. Embrace your differences, allow yourself the ability to grow, see through the challenges and be present in each aspect of your life.