How Deckers Exec Wendy Yang Is Pushing for Equality Every Day

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

Industry veteran Wendy Yang has been instrumental in the success of several prominent footwear brands, including Timberland and New Balance. Today, the exec is leading the way at Deckers, ensuring Hoka One One, Teva and Sanuk are standouts in the competitive outdoor and athletic landscapes.

Here, the president of Deckers’ Performance Lifestyle Group talks team building, how #MeToo changed the workplace and working toward equality.

Talk about your career path in your own words — what were the biggest tipping points for you that led you to this point?

“College and professional tennis taught me resiliency, tenacity, and gave me confidence to face whatever comes my way. Andersen Consulting gave me a foundation in financial understanding and importance that carry into any field or position. Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, New Balance, Hoka, Teva and Sanuk taught me the specifics of footwear brand building and gave me the experience of building, growing and leading teams.”

What is your biggest career accomplishment to date and why?

“I’m most proud of the teams I’ve built and the work those teams have done, which have made a lasting impact across the multiple companies and brands I’ve had the good fortune to steward over the course of my career.”

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

“The biggest challenge will be to continue and build upon the momentum that’s underway, not just settling for improvement, but working every day toward equality. I’m trying to instill confidence in the best and brightest women I cross paths with, encourage them to go for it.”

What is a powerful leadership moment you’ve experienced? 

“When my team and I put on the first Women’s Leadership Summit at Deckers a year ago, I was confident it was going to be well received but was blown away at how much people were moved by it and how incredibly appreciated it was by the majority of women at Deckers.”

Watch the video below on FN’s summer sneaker maintenance tips. 

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