In the 5th part of our "30 Over 30" series, 4meglam speaks with Odile Roujol about inclusiveness in beauty and fashion, and purpose-driven entrepreneurs.
Odile Roujol is a Business Angel, advisor and board member for several companies, ex-CEO of Lancôme (L'Oréal), ex-Chief Strategy and Data Officer for Orange, and now, Founder of FAB - a rapidly growing Fashion and Beauty Tech community with 1500 founders and funders from Asia to Latin America to Europe and the US.
After working with large corporations at C suite level, she finds is tremendously exciting to work with entrepreneurs, focusing on data-driven and purpose-driven founders.
"It didn't begin in a garage... but in my house in San Francisco," says Odile. "This is now a movement across 12 chapters (and growing) in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the US."
Photo courtesy of Odile Roujol.
When do you feel most empowered?
When I’m connected to who I am and surrounded by positive energy.
Can you share an example of how you juggle work-life and personal interests?
I remember the time when I was still living in New York, and I had forgotten on 3 different days to prepare the lunch box for my 6-year-old son. On one particular day when I had a big meeting with our CEO who was flying in from Paris, I left the office to head home to get the lunch box for my son. I was rushing so much. I simply couldn’t bear the idea of him sharing what his friends gave him again. I arrived 3 minutes after our CEO was seated in the board room. My boss had asked me “How could you be late today?!”. I just couldn’t give the explanation and felt like the woman trying to do it all
Can you share an example of a random act of kindness that you received?
Every day I’m grateful for conversations with people I like and trust and the new ones that I meet. In Silicon Valley, it’s easy to have 30 minute chat with almost anybody. It’s the “pay forward” culture. You learn from the conversation. There is no ROI at the end, but you have grown as a person and leader.
Inclusiveness to you is ... innovation.
Diversity means being aware of our own cognitive biases. I’m happy to see women helping each other as sisters, solidarity helps. There are not enough female investors worldwide, supporting and backing female founders and minority founders in the US ( less than 2% of the funds go to women entrepreneurs, and they are 16% of the number of founders).
On the theme of the multi-hyphenate woman, if you were a superhero, what would your ego and alter-ego be?
I’m not of fan of superheroes and Marvel. But I would invent the “power couple”. My husband supported me when I took the decision to move to the US, it was not that easy as a choice for his own career. Similarly, to be promoted, you need men to support women. Let’s not forget this important fact. We need you guys!
If you were a lipstick color, which one would it be and what would you call it.
I was the one worked with the makeup artist Fred Farrugia to create the Juicy Tube (Lancôme), I love the name and the shine, and I would add sparkles in it!
Sparkles - just like when we enjoy life! Sparkling Cherry blossom (it’s the season in the Japanese district in San Francisco). I’m pretty sure this must already exist in a brand!
Photo from Getty Images: Actress Anne Hathaway and Lancome International General Manager Odile Roujol launched 'Magnifique', the new Lancome fragrance, at Le Grand Palais
A piece of advice you'd give to your younger self.
Do not worry. Surveys from Stanford and the MIT business reviews show that women are hard workers and want things to be perfect. They also think people will see they will outperform. I believe we should spend more time to negotiate not only for our team but for ourselves... and learn to enjoy life better at work.
Share a secret never to be told except on Instagram
I love California especially Los Angeles! I believe it’s the best city for founders in Direct-to-consumer. You have already great engineers and creative minds. People care about their impact. Founders believe in the circular economy, conscious consumption, clean beauty, and wellness. L.A. understands Asia. New York is closer to Europe in the culture. And San Francisco tends to focus on Tech first.
What do you feel is your calling?
Live like an olive tree, ready to live 100 years with wisdom. But enjoy life as it could be your last day - every single day.
What is your favorite quote to keep you going?
The sky is the limit!
Stay on top of this exciting this beauty revolution led by Odile and her community of mission-driven and data-driven founders and funders, by signing up to the newsletter here.
Psst - look out for the launch of the FAB Singapore chapter next month at The Cacoon Space, located along the fashionable Orchard Road right above Design Orchard.