After the Elephant Recap: Food/Beverage/Beauty Panel
In the trade media/association “After the Elephant” discussion of “Identifying the Elephant in the Room: Critical Communications Strategies in the Face of Sexism’,” host of Late Night Health Radio, Mark Alyn, moderated the conversation with guests: Eric Schnell, co-founder of BeyondBrands and Beyond SKU, Jasmine Dickens, COO/operations manager of Misha’s Kind Foods, and Miguel Leal, co-founder/CEO of SOMOS Foods, to respond and discuss session three of the sexism seminar series and challenge other leaders in the industry to do some deep work to make meaningful and fundamental changes when it comes to sexism within the natural products industry. The discussion included some key takeaways and memorable moments including:
Schnell noted that he had a mix of emotions after watching the panel. He was “sad, angry and disgusted” at the presence of sexism in the natural products industry, but he was also happy that women on the panel finally had a platform to speak about their experiences. Schnell also noted the importance of conversations about sexism, such as this one, that “act as a catalyst for change.”
Dickens was also excited to be having this discussion, but she noted that we have a very long way to go in the quest to end sexism. She noted that until recently, women were always hushed and not allowed to speak on their own experiences with sexism. She said that “we have to be willing to take risks collectively” for this change to occur. When it comes to leadership, “we need to be willing to lose an account or client to hold the abuser accountable in the event of sexual harassment.”
Leal said that he is glad to be a part of this series to learn how he can play a role in ending sexism and how “all of us, especially men, can become a bigger part of the change.” Leal noted that companies need to have resources that allow an individual to file a complaint or concern to retailers, and how being heard is important for change in the future.
Each guest agreed that more accountability needs to be taken when it comes to sexism in the natural products industry, especially from men and those in leadership. Additionally, empowering women through leadership roles can also be a driving force in creating a long-term change.
Session Three Action Items:
Stop calling employees “family.”
Create policies at work on how to behave.
Don’t ask about relationship statuses.
Compliment women for accomplishments not on appearance.
Leadership must set the tone for culture.
Don’t tell someone to “smile” (it’s belittling).
Prioritize women leadership on boards (by 51% or more).
Boycott retailers for abusive behavior.
Develop an educational program requirement for industry leaders.
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Watch After The Elephant Here: