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Out of macho land

Jessica Alba talks about how she started her  and gives advice in the Bits & Pretzels Podcast about how she succeeded as an entrepreneur and gives advice about female leadership

Some say it takes to be taken out of your comfort zone and having more to gain than to loose to become a founder.

That certainly appears to be true for Jessica Alba, the American actress and businesswoman, co-founder of "The Honest Company", a consumer goods and beauty brand with an arsenal of products ranging from make-up to "eco-friendly" baby diapers. She began her first career as an actress in Hollywood, recognized for her roles in "Dark Angel", Fantastic Four" and "Sin City" before she turned to entrepreneurship and founded beauty brand Honest in 2011.

In a live conversation for the Bits & Pretzels Podcast the businesswoman talks about how she build her business which was even though everybody knew her face wasn't easy at all – or maybe even because of her pretty appearance or her career in the movies the investors and business people looked down on her. "There was so much resistance. The whole entire time", Alba says in conversation with Britta Weddeling.

"People can take a selfie with you and show their friends that they took a meeting with an actress. They are looking at you sideways in every single room. And like, do you really think you can create a business? Come on now."

Jessica admitted that it was tough to be the only women in the board room first that she even had trouble to talk publicly about the fact that it was her idea to start the company. Her company now reaches a valuation of around $1 billion and sold

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On the way to fight for a place in the market, her company hit some roadblocks as well and was sued. Alba settled a nationwide class action lawsuit claiming she misled buyers about ingredients in her laundry detergents and dish soap. She also settled a second labeling lawsuit i ne for an undisclosed amounther shakeups included changes in leadership and the elimination of 80 jobs in early 2017.

Today Alba is convinced that she can learn more from her mistakes then from anything else ....

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Alba also demands to see more women in leader- and entrepreneurship. After all both in Hollywood and the business men still set the stage and run the show. In the US, with women at only 29 percent of boards and 30 percent of C-suite members, that doesn't look impressive. But it is even worse here in Germany: On average, only 12% of the management boards in Germany's top 30 companies are female. That puts Germany at the tail end in Europe when compared with their top 30 companies.

Alba demands action:


About Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba started her television and movie appearances at age 13 and became famous for her roles as a lead actress of the television series "Dark Angel" (2000–2002), "Fantastic Four" (2005, 2007)

Podcast Chapters:

1:33 It's a man's world

2:38 But it would be nothing without a woman...

5:10 Can you mansplain that?

8:25 An Honest company culture

12:37 “We lived paycheck to paycheck”

14:41 The modern Cinderella story

17:49 What is honest about your Honest Company?

20:15 There was so much resistance the whole time

22:48 Founding a startup is like raising a baby

25:44 Barack Obama's daughters are his advisors

31:05 Two tips for your business from Jessica Alba

The Bits & Pretzels Podcast is produced by Regina Körner, Migo Fricke and Hubert Honold with the help of Janek Postpischiel.

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