Every day in June, FN is showcasing female leaders across the industry for our Women in Power series.
“[You have] an accumulation of experiences, and then one day, you’re sitting with a group of women, and everyone is looking at you,” said Sarah Jessica Parker.
All eyes are on the actor and entrepreneur, who sits at the helm of a shoe brand that is defined by its mostly female team. “I feel responsible,” she told FN.
Parker, who launched the SJP Collection label in 2014 with George Malkemus, is focused on creating a place her employees are proud of and a product they believe in.
While she didn’t set out purposely to work along-side only women, it’s proved to be effective.
“I rely on them for their thoughts and opinions and ideas,” she said. “When you have women of varying ages, they have a perception that I don’t have. They are out in the world in ways that I’m not, wouldn’t be and haven’t been.”
In the era of #MeToo and a wave of pushing female leaders to the forefront, Parker is continuing to show support by promoting within. She said, “People grow in my business. We don’t do it arbitrarily. That’s how we work.”
Looking at the film industry, she noted negligence as the biggest barrier to female leadership.
“We haven’t created a pipeline to teach women,” Parker said. She suggests the same issue is happening in fashion. She added, “We haven’t helped women sort out how to start those businesses, how to ask for investments, how to find partnerships that help sustain you. That’s where we have to do better.”
The “Sex and the City” star has had a storied career in entertainment — starting off on the Broadway stage as a child actor. Her advice for the next generation? Focus on small victories.
“There is so much emphasis put on success in this country, and we pay a lot of attention to people who make money quickly. It’s a distorted view,” she explained. “The challenge is [how you] define success. It’s not [about what you see on Instagram]. A career path can be years and years of committed, dedicated work. A work ethic that’s admired is enormously successful.”
Watch FN’s video with Carrie Dragshaw below.
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