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Name: Rose Fernandez
Kid(s) and Ages: Asya and Kobe, both adults
Where do you live? Torrance, CA
As the CEO of Algenist, the leader in science-based, clinically-proven, algae-based skincare innovations with unique vegan formulations, I have the important role of making sure that we have inclusive benefits, and to me it was important that included parental leave, period – regardless of how you build your family. I am a firm believer in work-life integration so we offer additional benefits like flexible work hours, remote capabilities and feeding your soul by giving your time so we provide one day off per month to our team.
This year Algenist will celebrate our fourth year of a paid holiday we coined Diversity Day; it is celebrated in June – a moment for us to all take the day off and recognize the beauty in the diversity of people, their lives and the importance of that. My goal is to continue to push boundaries and expectations to make the brand a diverse and welcoming place to be who you are and make your best contributions.
Algenist was founded by an ingredient discovery, we drive this ingredient innovation today. We like to point to algae as our founder. As the CEO I lead the charge in driving innovation across all areas. I enjoy the ability to nurture a business that was built on a dream.
In my lifetime the most influential woman I can point to is the notorious RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsberg. So much to say about her she was a force.
I believe that you should speak your mind. I share with my daughter regularly that she should just say what she has to say and not worry about what someone else thinks. We should encourage respectful conflict, we should not shy away from this, and I find that great revelations and solutions come from this. It is important to foster an environment of trust, where people feel safe to behave this way. For me, trust is the foundation to empowering people. Staying silent will not lead to successful or favorable outcomes. It’s important to be transparent and let your voice be heard.
There are many, I’ll pick one and one that I can help to evolve. Woman have so many responsibilities, they always have. Most of us are faced with all the responsibilities of home and I’ll add some of these responsibilities are not so obvious, so I’ll be explicit – the entertainer, the gatherer of people and friends, the home psychologist, the creative solution finder, the scheduler, and on and on. These demands coupled with other more obvious ones: caregiver, chef, housekeeper, errand runner, etc… and add a career on top of this and it never ends. I would say that is a pretty impressive resume, wouldn’t you?
As a leader of a business and a woman with similar challenges I have a unique opportunity to influence work life integration, boundary setting, speaking your mind, and mentorship. This is important to me. I have spent the past few years working on becoming a conscious leader – it is a practice, and it requires me to see people fully and to be aware of who I am fully including how I show up. The disruption with COVID-19 put these teachings to the test and I am grateful for the training as I was so present to what the team was dealing with outside of work. A culture of trust, care, accountability for self and others can co-exist. I am committed to ensuring that our employees have the support they need to have a career coexist with their personal lives.
Maya Angelou, I can always benefit from a little Maya Angelou.
I am an introvert. I relish in the quiet, but I also love the beauty business which is the opposite of quiet, so I adjust taking moments when I need them and feeding my soul with all the wonderful and creative people that I get to be around, work with, be inspired by everyday.
I believe one of the biggest challenges women face today is time management. Women have many different roles and contributions to society – from being a mother to being in the workforce – and I believe it’s all about choice. I no longer say “work-life balance” because if I’m going to work late, it’s because I feel either responsible for something or feel strongly about solving or getting something done. It’s important to understand what’s important to you, what interests you and what excites you. Once you understand how to bring those things into your life, they will no longer be separate and just fit seamlessly into your life. I am able to balance the different hats I wear in my life because I choose how I spend my time wisely and understand what aspects of my life are important to commit time to.
Now that we are working from home 100% of the time and my daughter is home from university navigating online courses, there isn’t much separation between work and family time as we are in close quarters around each other all the time – sometimes even making the occasional cameo on each other’s calls. The blessing in all of this is that I get meaningful time with her that will go into the memory bank. We cook together, we laugh together, we talk nonsense, and we learn from each other. She shares with me about her studies – what she is learning – and even teaches me about her hobbies. She has such a wide array of interests that I am learning something new every day from her.
I believe that working from home has put a spotlight on the responsibilities of women or parents and the demands. Organizations will need to operate differently when we return to a more normalized office schedule because it was proven that people in fact could decide what they needed to do at home and work. I am hopeful that the flexibility will remain.
Be you, enjoy the moments, and let other people see you. My biggest advice to moms about motherhood is to spend meaningful time, no matter how fleeting, with your children. They are really the best manager training.
At Algenist, we are committed to being an Accomplice to Change as we feel strongly about diversity and inclusivity. This is born from seeing people as they are with the gifts they bring.
Last show you binged: Madam Secretary
Last book you read: Think Again by Adam Grant
Go-To Family Dinner: Beans and Rice – it’s easy!
Favorite Beverage: Bourbon
Favorite Take out: In n Out
Favorite Dessert: Anything chocolate
Summer or Winter? Summer of course!
Dream Vacation: A month of wander
#1 Beauty Product you can’t live without: Algenist AA Barrier Serum
App you can’t live without on your phone: My Fitness Pal
You can find Rose’s company, Algenist here.
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