2022-03-08 | By Brazilian Footwear
The presence of women in leadership positions in the national footwear industry has added to the brands an innovative and intuitive look at business. There are still many spaces to be occupied and what you see are women willing to break paradigms and make these environments more diverse. We interviewed four female voices to understand the key challenges they face, how they took their first steps in the industry and what legacy they are building. Check it out:
It was Luiza Barcelos' mother, dona Dorinha, who at the age of 50 founded the women's footwear brand that bears her name. In addition to Luiza, creative director of the brand, her sisters Rosa and Lúcia are also part of the board, composed mostly of women. "My mother has always been a reference for everyone. We build our leadership based on her example, with a lot of closeness to people, simplicity, listening, practicality and learning,” Luiza mentions. The shared leadership, initiated by dona Dorinha, is a legacy present in the company since its foundation, a differential seen with good eyes by the market. “We've earned enormous respect because we work hard, value creative strength and are true to our essence. These pillars were only erected thanks to the work of admirable women, present in each of the sectors of the company. Luiza Barcelos has as one of the slogans to be made by women protagonists of their own stories and this is reflected in the success of our products”, says the entrepreneur. Highly fashion and focused on female empowerment, Luiza Barcelos wants a market that is increasingly consistent and bustling with talents who know what they want. In the words of the creative director, “the more female figures stand out, the better for all of us,” she concludes.
The marketing executive of the Minuano Group, Giuliane Roberta Enzweiler, was not even born when her grandfather Herbert Oscar Enzweiler founded the Minuano tannery almost 50 years ago. Among her most remote memories is visiting the production of the Malu footwear industry, one of the group's companies, to see how women's shoes were made. “I would open the boxes on the expedition to look at the models that would go to the stores and customers and would talk about the day that I would also work with it,” she recalls. Her wish came true when she started the group's marketing alone. As the business grew, Giuliane expanded the team and was able to realize the impact of her leadership in the group. “I think it is essential to have balance, to know how to listen and also to position oneself, to be attentive to the new and to know how to stimulate the next person”, considers the executive. The female presence in the footwear industry, she assesses, has the potential to bring innovation, empathy and critical thinking. “We need to stimulate and extol other women who also have the desire to make a difference,” she signals.
Footwear has been a constant presence in Ana Cláudia McInerney's life since childhood. Born in Franca, an important Brazilian footwear pole, the creative director of the brand of children's shoes Tip Toey Joey at 18 years old already took pairs to sell to her classmates. The creative direction was conquered with motivation, freedom and courage to challenge concepts pre-established by the corporate environment. Finding different profiles of people and inviting them to think together is what motivates Ana. She sees it as a great adventure to concentrate different talents and create creative synergy. "Of course, the team of Tip Toey Joey was made up of many women. Currently, it is 70% female, including the production. We have to break these paradigms of society from what is a working model for men and women. The challenge is to break these conditions to restore the balance of male and female forces, "he says. This is what Tip Toey Joey performs in practice. Today, 50% of the leaders are female and another 50% male. "Throughout the year, I always try to work the company’s culture with special themes, stimulating, inspiring and developing women’s energy through workshops and lectures", concludes Ana.
The first steps of co-founder and director of Anatomic & Co, Moema Pimentel, in the footwear sector began when she was still a child. Accompanying her mother, who was a shoe designer, Moema recalls reviewing shoes in factories and these experiences were fundamental for the entrepreneur to decide to follow her professional career in the sector. Female leadership, Moema says that women are increasingly inserted in the business environment. "Today we have seen more women in leadership and, I think that's fantastic. The woman brings a plurality, an important diversity. We need to normalise women as leaders and their voices being heard and respected, holding positions in government, dictating guidelines for the future.” Part of the Mulheres do Brasil Group, a network formed by more than 98 thousand women engaged worldwide in ensuring equal rights, work, safety, education and quality health for all, Moema also seeks to empower new generations. “I try to encourage them to do whatever they want, regardless of gender and age. This is my role as a woman and female leadership, to show that definitely women can have the same responsibilities", she concludes.
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