MiNDFOOD has teamed up with Bobbi Brown to discover some of New Zealandâs most inspirational women and find out what beauty and being who you are means to them.
They say age comes with wisdom, and entrepreneur, professional director and sustainability strategist Rebecca Mills is quick to admit that her own definition of beauty has evolved over the years. âI used to be more aware of aesthetics,â says Mills. âBut as Iâve gone through life Iâve realised even more how important authenticity is to me, and I believe when youâre being your true self, thatâs real beauty.â As a young woman Mills says she was quite dismissive of her own beauty and appearance. âOver time, through my work, Iâve seen so many people who are having a really positive impact on the world and empowering others to do the same, theyâre really beautiful people to me.â Since Mills spends her time advising high-profile personalities and companies â sheâs worked with Sir Richard Branson and locally with the likes of Fonterra and New Zealand Post â she is frequently reminded that women are underrepresented in the corporate world.
Find Your Voice
Mills is frank about acknowledging that she often felt intimidated and struggled to find her voice who when she was younger. âIt was especially difficult working in industries with small numbers of women, but if youâre not being authentic, people really notice that. Nervousness can be misinterpreted, and you can lose traction.â Mills quickly realised she needed to find her voice and embrace who she was; so she started consciously thinking about all the successful women who were inspirational to her â she names Arianna Huffington and Oprah. But it was a meeting with media magnate andÂ businesswoman Huffington that had a profound impact on her: Mills met her in Auckland after Huffington took an interest in the work she was doing. âWe had lunch and I was incredibly nervous. I gave her a quote from her book and she turned to me and said: âDarling, thatâs not my book.ââ Mills had been so awestruck by Huffington sheâd quoted Sheryl Sandberg, author and the chief operating officer of Facebook. âI thought: âIâve got to knock this on the head or Iâm going to act like an idiot the whole lunch.â So I just said to her: âI know itâs not your book and that your book is Thrive, Iâve read it. Iâm nervous and Iâm really sorry.ââ Huffington touched her arm, looked her in the eye and said: âDarling, donât think a minute more of it. Iâm here because Iâm really interested in your work.ââ
Empower Yourself and Others
Huffingtonâs words and actions were a huge trigger for Mills, becoming an integral part of Rebeccaâs coaching service she offers entrepreneurs. âI work with people and companies who are going to and want to have a positive impact on the world, and I intentionally support young women.â Mills meets up with a number of young women every few weeks, but sheâs always only a phone call or Facebook message away. âIf theyâre feeling intimidated or anxious, I want them to talk, I want them to contact me before things spiral out of control.â This sisterhood and network of women serves as a constant source of inspiration for Mills. âIâve been embracing femininity, and the power of having both masculinity and femininity in conversations. Iâve been embracing how I express this in business and am and really settling into that more. I think women really need to put the ladder down for other women more. Thatâs why, along with men, Iâm enjoy working with women to help them discover their worth and the full extent of the positive impact they can have on the world.â