Meet a Nasty Woman: 5 Questions with Alessandra Lariu

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Meet Alessandra Lariu.   Ale Lariu is a former Executive Creative Director at the global strategy and design firm frog design and currently consults as a Experience Director for some of New York’s most promising start-ups. In 2012, she was in Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women” with 60 other accomplished leaders like Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. Prior to joining frog, Lariu had been working with start-ups and running two of her own for which she made it into Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business" list in 2010. Before that, she was an advertising creative director with over 18 global industry awards. In 2007, Lariu co-founded SheSays, a vibrant community of creatives with more than 30,000 women in 32 countries. Born in the Amazon jungle, she grew up in Rio de Janeiro, lived in Europe and has settled in Brooklyn, New York. Ale also loves cherries paired with rosé and a good Sancerre. We asked her our five favorite questions that we want to know about every Nasty Woman. Read the full interview to learn more about Ale’s work and her really great advice about how to change the status quo below.

What makes you a Nasty Woman?

My sole purpose and mission in life is to bring a new perspective to the way we lead. Right now,  people expect you to behave a certain way. Whereas the right thing to do is to recognize new leadership styles.

The lack of a different leadership styles reflects particularly bad for women who often have to shape themselves into who they are not to get ahead. But in all honesty, we should not be changing for the status quo. The status quo should be changing for us.

Share an experience that shaped your views or helped get you involved in activism.

10 years ago, my co-founder, Laura Jordan Bambach, and I were always the only two women speaking at conferences and judging awards in the creative industry. We started an organization called SheSays to change this ratio. To me activism is not a new thing, I have been involved in it for the past 10 years! And I feel very proud that SheSays has managed to help so many women in our industry.

What advice do you have for people who want to help enact change and push progress but don’t know how to get involved?

Join SheSays. Get a good mentor.  Don't give up. Be generous. Listen to people. Give before you take. And have fun!

If you could look into the future, 10 years from now, and see that real progress has been made, what does that look like to you?

A world where there are no gender issues because the new leaders have different perspectives and different leadership styles. A world where the board of companies are balanced and diverse. A world where governments are balanced and diverse. A world where people know how to listen. A kind world.

Do you have a favorite wine or wine pairing?

This is probably a total 'no-no' for wine connoisseurs but I like cherries as a pairing for my rose. And also I love a good Sancerre.

Ale would love to have more SheSays chapters in the US. If you're interested in joining an existing chapter or bringing one to youir city, get more information here.