Happy International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month! International Women’s Day (IWD) was established in the 1900’s and is “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women,” according to the IWD official website. We, as Flavor Insights, want to recognize all of the women who came before us to pave a path for the women today and the future. We sat down with Flavor Insights CEO, Nikki Brown to chat with her about what International Women’s Day means to her and allow her to offer some wisdom for our future leaders.

Nikki, we’re excited to talk to you today about International Women’s Day. I want to get started by asking who is the most inspiring female role model to you?

Female role models have been difficult for me to identify throughout my career. There are many women that I respect and admire in life. However, finding women that have been able to accelerate professionally while actively raising children, have been fewer and further between. Most of the women in my life have had to make career / life choices. The predominant decision was to hold or walk away from careers while starting families. Some have had the opportunity to return as their children have gotten older. Re-entering the workforce is challenging but businesses are acknowledging and supporting this important initiative.

I look to my daughter as a role model. She was raised by a working mother. She just started high school and I have no doubt that she believes her possibilities are limitless. She dreams big and that’s where it starts. I am inspired by her view of the world. At a career day in junior high, when asked what she’d like to do some day, she responded she’d prefer to run a business like her mom. I feel proud, humbled and grateful.

Why is women’s history so important in your eyes?

It’s a celebration of trail blazers. We can vote, we can lead businesses, we can help lead the highest office in the nation’s capital. It’s pretty amazing that it hasn’t always been the case. We can’t fail to recognize this. I appreciate the many women that created a path for all of us.

What do you think is the biggest issue women face in todays world?

Striking a balance can be challenging for anyone today. I find that some days are winners and others warrant a ‘do over’. There are days where there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to be a great parent, spouse, leader and voice within our business. My dad reminded me early on in my career to head home. Everything would in fact be there for me in the morning. It always is. He was right.

Why do we need more women in leadership?

We help bring a balanced perspective. Each of us walk into a room with ideas based on our life experiences. The diversity in the room only strengthens the conversation taking place.

What is your biggest success to date?

Raising my family. It’s never dull. It’s challenging and ever changing. It is the source of most of my laughs and even more of my tears. Professionally, our former business grew a brand from core fitness enthusiasts to aspirational and athletic. Seeing the marks on collegiate sidelines, in gyms and on fields that my kids play on will forever make me smile.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

I enjoy connecting with the women I work with. I learn something from each of them and have appreciation for different reasons. Some are in the early stages of their careers and pop in fresh having had a morning workout and a quiet coffee. For that, I am envious. Some start their day bright and early and get their children out of the house before joining us. I often find myself thinking, “all of this before 7:30 am”. There’s almost a sense of “we made it” over our morning hello. We’re all in it one way or another. It’s important to respect and celebrate each other.

Lastly, on International Women’s Day what message to you want to send to girls who look up to women like you?

You’ve got this. Being perfect isn’t much fun. Fail fast, pivot and learn faster. Looking back, failures became learnings which then became part of the strategy. It’s funny how that works.

“Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown