Within moments of speaking to Andrea Mallard, it’s clear that she’s no ordinary CMO. Mallard joined Athleta last March, and there’s no question that she knows a thing or two about brand-building—especially when it comes to acknowledging where we are as a society and where there’s room for growth. In short, Mallard is determined to use her role at Athleta to make the world a better place.
“2017, what a year!” she says with an exhilarated laugh. “It was an amazing year of culture. The #metoo movement was all about making it clear that the voices of women should be heard—and that’s the place where Athleta started. That’s the conversation we were having 20 years ago. It’s interesting to see the zeitgeist catch up to that place.”
While Mallard is committed to sustainability and a positive work environment, in the true spirit of You.We.All, her biggest goal as Athleta’s CMO is to empower women not just to love their bodies, but to push themselves out of their comfort zones in a way that boosts confidence and encourages them to become the strongest, bravest versions of themselves. We caught up with Mallard for an inspiring conversation about how she stays present for both her family and colleagues, how she taps into her creativity, and where she plans to take Athleta in 2018.
While I’m really proud that by 2020 80 percent of our materials will be from sustainable fibers, what gives me the most energy is knowing that we’re taking sustainability really seriously in other ways too. For us, sustainability is about the whole picture. For example, the women who help make our clothes, we invest as much if not more in them as they do in us—we give them an educational program and life skills that give them personal agency. By working with us, they’re learning entrepreneurial and craftsmanship skills so they can start their own clothing company someday.
Empowerment takes a lot forms. Certainly speaking up about harassment is important, but all of our campaigns have an element of empowerment. For example, women often have a lot of self-doubt. What are some micro-moments where women can step out of their comfort zones? When we give women a power and agency and confidence in their bodies, it translates to all aspects of their life. It’s really getting loud now in a way I thought I would never see in my lifetime. We’re thrilled to be part of this conversation.
Diversity is also huge for us. You used to have to be a certain age, size, race. Athleta believes that you choose the value you have. We want to celebrate all sorts of women. It’s a crime to think that people haven’t been exposed to the true diversity that’s out there. Women are now saying “no, I get to…
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