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FEMALE EXECS
GET REAL

Three top execs—Motown prexy Ethiopia Habtemariam (pictured), Caroline and Harvest head Jacqueline Saturn and Caron Veazey, GM of Pharrell WilliamsI Am Other—shared their thoughts on issues facing women in the business in a virtual roundtable discussion on Refinery29. Excerpts follow.

Habtemariam: “I thought [Neil Portnow’s game-changing “step up” comment] was so crazy! I’m blown away by that, because we step up every day. Women are the crux of the music industry; we live and breathe music and dictate the culture. Even the male artists that I work with—the first person they’re calling to come into the studio for their opinion on something isn’t their manager or their boys, but their girlfriends or wives or female assistants. There are a lot of women who touch and influence the music industry and never even get credit for it.”

Saturn: “One thing that I’m 100% known for is hiring women. I’ve had almost entire staffs that are female, and I’ve seen people that start as my assistant go on to grow to senior positions or running things in artist development. I’ve made it my business since early in my career to surround myself with and hire women, while also making sure they were the best people for the job. But I’ve seen and heard firsthand that that just isn’t a common practice in this business. And it should be.”

Veazey: “I think it’s important to identify a mentor. A female mentor. Someone you can turn to when you need advice and who can guide you and look out for you when there are opportunities. Even if you haven’t met that person yet, don’t be afraid to find someone and ask them to coffee, because most of the time, women truly do want to help women. In fact, this conversation has inspired me to make a commitment to do more mentoring and really support the young women coming up.”

You’ll find the roundtable here.

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