Women Who Rock: Rebecca Minkoff on Why Supporting Other Women Is Critical

2015 CFDA Awards
Designer Rebecca Minkoff in classic black strappy heels.
Getty Images.

Rebecca Minkoff wants women to step up and support each other.

“We need more women to foster other women. There are too many people blocking each other. There needs to be more of a camaraderie among us,” said the female force behind her namesake brand.

Here, the designer shares more lessons in leadership.

On empowering her female employees:

“We have 118 employees, and about 100 of them are women. We try to set an example and hope they feel empowered by seeing what we do. We never want anyone to feel micromanaged — it’s about how you approach the job you have like an entrepreneur. It’s about being vocal, speaking your mind and taking initiative. We want people to feel like they have the opportunity to grow within the company.”

On misperceptions about women in power:

“I hear too often from colleagues, ‘If a man leads, he’s a boss. If a woman leads, she’s a bitch.’ You can be a great leader and also be benevolent.”

On rallying the troops:

“We see so many women have incredible careers today. There is change in the air. It’s our time to rise, but women need to be willing to give each other advice [and help each other]. It needs to be a group effort.”

What her mother taught her:

“I’m the youngest of three. I had two older brothers, and my mom always taught me to fight back if I needed to.”