MiNDFOOD has teamed up with Bobbi Brown to discover some of New Zealandās 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. āI used to be more aware of aesthetics,ā says Mills. āBut as Iāve gone through life Iāve realised even more how important authenticity is to me, and I believe when youāre being your true self, thatās real beauty.ā As a young woman Mills says she was quite dismissive of her own beauty and appearance. āOver time, through my work, Iāve seen so many people who are having a really positive impact on the world and empowering others to do the same, theyāre really beautiful people to me.ā Since Mills spends her time advising high-profile personalities and companies ā sheās worked with Sir Richard Branson and locally with the likes of Fonterra and New Zealand Post ā 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. āIt was especially difficult working in industries with small numbers of women, but if youāre not being authentic, people really notice that. Nervousness can be misinterpreted, and you can lose traction.ā 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 ā she names Arianna Huffington and Oprah. But it was a meeting with media magnate andĀ 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. āWe had lunch and I was incredibly nervous. I gave her a quote from her book and she turned to me and said: āDarling, thatās not my book.āā Mills had been so awestruck by Huffington sheād quoted Sheryl Sandberg, author and the chief operating officer of Facebook. āI thought: āIāve got to knock this on the head or Iām going to act like an idiot the whole lunch.ā So I just said to her: āI know itās not your book and that your book is Thrive, Iāve read it. Iām nervous and Iām really sorry.āā Huffington touched her arm, looked her in the eye and said: āDarling, donāt think a minute more of it. Iām here because Iām really interested in your work.āā
Empower Yourself and Others
Huffingtonās words and actions were a huge trigger for Mills, becoming an integral part of Rebeccaās coaching service she offers entrepreneurs. āI 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.ā Mills meets up with a number of young women every few weeks, but sheās always only a phone call or Facebook message away. āIf theyāre feeling intimidated or anxious, I want them to talk, I want them to contact me before things spiral out of control.ā This sisterhood and network of women serves as a constant source of inspiration for Mills. āIāve been embracing femininity, and the power of having both masculinity and femininity in conversations. Iāve 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. Thatās why, along with men, Iām enjoy working with women to help them discover their worth and the full extent of the positive impact they can have on the world.ā