You go, girl! In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating Brayola’s own leading lady: Founder and CEO Orit Hashay. We sat down with Orit to talk about what motivates her, what challenges her, and what inspires her to empower other women looking to take on leadership roles.
International Women’s Day
Q: According to Fortune Knowledge Group, only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. What’s it like being a woman in a male-dominated role?
A: Women can do anything men can do! I think we are born multi-taskers, and as a CEO, every day is filled with new challenges to overcome and new things to learn.
Q: What were some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career?
A: One of the biggest challenges I faced at Brayola was raising funding while I was pregnant with my son. As a woman pitching to (mostly male) VCs about the woes of bra shopping, you need to have both guts and patience. Men don’t necessarily know the frustrations that bra shopping can bring, so being persistent and unafraid of shocking the audience helped me get through the initial hesitation that came with pitching a technology targeted specifically to women.
Q: How did you face those challenges?
A: I never took no for an answer. My pregnancy cast doubt in the minds of investors, but I remained passionate about my ideas and confident in my business plan which eventually won them over.
Q: What advice would you give other women in a similar position?
A: There will always be people who will doubt you and your abilities, but it’s up to you to prove them wrong. As long as you believe strongly in your ideas, stick to your guns, and put in the hard work, the results will come. Always stand up for who you are, and when you can, stress less.
Q: What advice would you give to women looking to pursue leadership roles?
A: Stay true to your beliefs and don’t sacrifice your vision, but also be flexible and adaptable. So many things can change at the drop of a hat when you’re running a company. If you can’t go with the flow, you’ll get left behind.
Q: When the going gets tough, what drives you?
A: Brayola is my baby, and just as you wouldn’t give up on a child I would never give up on my business. It’s as simple as that!
Q: What words do you live by?
This quote always stays with me when I think of my life motto: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” This is an amazing ethos to remember when building a company, and it has proved to be very true for me now that I am running Brayola.
To learn more about Orit and why she founded Brayola, click here.