Footwear veteran Susan Itzkowitz understands the challenges and opportunities facing women in the industry today. Here, she discusses the importance of mentoring and offers up advice for new talent.
How She Approaches Mentoring: “Female mentorship is so important. In a predominately female industry, where men make up most of the executives, the idea of women helping women should be a no-brainer. Through women mentorship we can harness the power and potential of women who are committed to sharing knowledge, skills, and access to accelerate women’s leadership globally. Additionally I’m a believer in leading by example. It is very important to have women leaders who inspire you. I hope to encourage the young women in our industry to speak their minds, take initiative and pursue their goals, professionally and personally. I aim to empower the women at Marc Fisher with the skillset and confidence they need to be the drivers of their own success.”
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Her Own Mentors: “I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors. I have worked with some outstanding women in this industry who have broken down barriers and proven that leadership spans beyond gender. Years ago, there was only a small group of women in positions of power in the footwear industry. They didn’t shy away from leading the conversation and voicing their opinions, even when they were met with resistance or were sometimes ignored. All my mentors have always instilled in me a confidence, they helped me to self-reflect, redefine the way I viewed myself.”
Best Advice To Offer: “Never stop learning. The world is changing rapidly. There is so much we can learn from the younger generation – their ideas, their motivations, the way they view the world, the way they shop. All of this is so relevant to the retail/wholesale world we live in. We need to empower the new generation of women to use their ideas, their creativity and problem solving skills to find new and more efficient ways of doing things. We can sometimes become set in the way things are typically done, and the younger generation can potentially show us a different approach that might be more efficient or relevant to better our business.”