UBM Fashion Group President Leslie Gallin on the the Power of Confidence

Every day in June, FN is showcasing female leaders across the industry for our Women in Power series.

Leslie Gallin, president footwear, Informa Fashion, UBM Fashion Group, knows what teamwork means. In her role bringing hundreds of footwear brands together each season to showcase new products, she’s proven that she can bring an industry together for a common goal.

Here, Gallin discusses the resistance she encountered from male counterparts in her career journey and why she loves the shoe business.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership in the fashion and footwear industries?

I see a favorable shift happening. Those women who’ve made their way to leadership roles have shown the boardroom that women can lead effectively, if given the reins.”

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you? What are you doing to support the next generation?  

“Embrace traditions. To be successful and supportive for the future of the footwear industry, remember this is a relationship-based business and being at a trade event where you can broaden your contact base will only enhance your business, career and provide healthy growth opportunities.”

Have you encountered resistance when working under — or leading — men? How did you overcome that?

“Yes. I hear, ‘And, she was right’ afterward. I like to think after they have said this a few times it has helped me build the trust.”

What is a powerful leadership moment you’ve experienced?

“Being promoted.”

What advice do you have for women negotiating a salary increase, promotion or other challenging issue at work?

“We are all most likely best at negotiating for our company and not ourselves. We need to be as confident in ourselves as we are at selling our brand when making the case for salary increases.”

What is the best decision you’ve ever made? The worst? 

“The best decision was leaving apparel for footwear. Footwear is like ice cream. No matter where in the world one is, you mention you’re involved with footwear and people put a smile on their face.”

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