International Women’s Day – Monica Flores, Head Of Ecommerce- MENA, Coty
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
Stay positive, be happy and don’t rush yourself – everything will happen at the right time and because of that you should focus on the now and enjoy the journey.
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
The decision that I am the most proud of is my decision to stay in Brazil as that is where I met my husband.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
When I was transitioning from PUIG to L’Oréal, I made the mistake of not assessing the L’Oréal culture and I was more determined to prove myself to be the “top talent” of the group because I was recognised in PUIG as a top talent employee at the time. I failed to step back and asses the working culture of L’Oréal and I wish that I had been more flexible and humble at the time. It is because of this failure I have learnt that no matter how senior you climb to in your career, you still have a lot to learn from people at all levels around you.
If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would not change a thing. I appreciate my mistakes as well as my successes.
Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
Positive energy, generosity, honesty and empowered women.
If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?
I believe they would say that I am humble, energetic and a team builder. They would also say that I am a workaholic and that I need to “switch off the machine” sometimes.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I believe the one thing that keeps me motivated at all times is the passion for my job and my industry. I also feel like I need to keep a balance between my work-life and my personal life and that if it is balanced then I can be more happy and in that case more productive.
I also like to care for animals as I am a big animal lover and recently rescued 2 cats and helped them to find a home. Loving animals and helping them keeps me motivated and happy.
If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
Hard work always pays and enjoy the journey!
What is your personal mantra?
I believe in helping others.
How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
The beauty industry is dominated by women, but unfortunately the top management positions are still mainly dominated by men. Over the years, I have noticed that some of the top beauty players understand how diversity can bring a positive impact in their organisations and this includes gender equality. There is still a long way to go, but I want to think we are on a positive track.
From an organisation perspective, I consider that gender equality should not only be a top priority topic for the CEO, but also for the rest of the organisation (like direct line managers that have certain power of decision to promote young talent on their journey to C-suite roles). HR should ensure that the gender diversity programs they implement have a higher rate of adoption.
As women, we do not need to be afraid to openly share our professional goals and be proud of ourselves. I think women need to support each other and normalise the topic of women in leadership between us. The more we support us, the more impact we will create.
What would you say the top 3 skills are needed in order to be successful in your industry?
You need to be flexible and you need to stay curious by continuously teaching yourself and updating your skills. I believe you need to be confident in your abilities and also be ready to let your team shine. I have learnt a lot by building talent as the millennials that I have worked with have been a great source of information for me and I have always had a “give and take” attitude when it comes to learning.
What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
I want people that cross my path throughout my life to be reminded of me as a person they can always count on, willing to give & share and with high ethical values.
Nowadays, with all the impacts from tech and social media we can easily get disconnected from the real and important values of life. I consider very important to work in our self centricity and when sharing time with others be 100% present.
At the recent Golden Globes, Oprah delivered a moving speech which led to people talking about her running for president. If you had the choice to recommend a leader, who would it be and why?
I really admire Michelle Obama, I feel as though she is an inspiring woman and that she is a genuinely caring woman that is working on making this world a better place. I love her speeches and her poise and I feel she really created an impact as a first lady and would continue to do so as a president.