December 04, 2017


Jessica Alba is trying to solve a problem many business owners face: getting more women into leadership positions at her company.
As one of few women in an executive role at The Honest Company, the actress turned entrepreneur admits "it's tough when you're the only woman in the room." She's working to empower more women so they, too, can get a seat at the table, she tells CNN's Poppy Harlow in a new podcast episode of Boss Files.
Women make up 65% of The Honest Company's 400 employees. However, only three of nine executives there are female, including Alba.
"I just felt so alone," says Alba, reflecting on being one of the only women in a leadership role during her early days at the company.
Alba, now 36, knew she wanted to start a company that made safe, organic products. She says she had an allergic reaction to baby detergent while cleaning onesies for her first child.
"I just felt like how the heck could something that's marketed to babies specifically, and all of that, give me this type of reaction. Like what's going on?" Alba recalls.
So she started researching online and eventually made her way to Washington D.C., lobbying for chemical reform on Capitol Hill, and later partnering with three other co-founders -- all men -- to launch The Honest Company.

Jessica Alba wants more women leaders at The Honest Company

The mother of two, who has a third on the way, co-founded the consumer goods brand in 2011. When she was raising her initial seed funding she was pregnant with her second child, and pitching to a room full of mostly men.
Alba also says many potential investors didn't take her seriously because she was a celebrity.
"It made me more determined... Everyone pretty much thought I was nuts," the Golden Globes nominee admits. "Being successful in entertainment doesn't mean you're going to be successful in business."
Alba says she worked with her co-founders to make the board more diverse, but they initially had other priorities.
"It's not that they didn't want to, it's just, we were thinking month-to-month about financial goals and that's more important than building a long-term vision and strategy," she tells Harlow.
The Honest Company tells CNN that Alba and Brian Lee, a co-founder and former CEO, sought out women to join the board but it was challenging to get anyone -- women or men -- to commit to a VC-backed startup.
Lee, who left his post as CEO in March, did not respond to a request for comment from CNN.
Today, Alba says she is committed to changing the company's demographics. She hired a new CEO, Nick Vlahos, who is restructuring the company's management team. And she is devising ways to help women at the company build their career paths and get to that "C-suite executive capability."
"We're going to have a curriculum and a program and a mentorship in-house, inside of The Honest Company, for women specifically. It's necessary," Alba says.
The Honest Company's Chief People Officer Janis Hoyt, is among the women hired under the new leadership.
"We're taking an opportunity to really focus on women and how they are represented, especially in the VP level and above," Hoyt says. "As we've grown from a startup to a more structured consumer, products, goods company, we're able to focus on that now and move in that direction."
The Honest Company recently launched its first employee resource group, Women Excelling in Leadership and Living. "This group is really here to shed light on some of the bias that plays out in workplace, but also how can we offer professional development and growth and really support the network of women," Hoyt says.

Jessica Alba wants more women leaders at The Honest Company

A recent McKinsey report finds that companies with more gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry averages.
The Honest Company, which is based in Santa Monica, California, launched with 17 home products and now makes more than 100, including diapers, cleaning supplies and personal care products. The company reported $300 million in sales in 2016.
The brand has also encountered some hurdles, including getting hit with several lawsuits. It recently agreed to pay $1.55 million to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit that claimed the company misled buyers about some ingredients in its laundry detergent and dish soap.
"We have to be more stringent on the way we communicate our marketing materials," Alba says.
She argues that the company sometimes faces more scrutiny from the press because she is a celebrity.
"We've had exchanges before they write articles. And I say, 'Why don't you bring in X, Y, and Z company, that is dealing with the exact same thing?' And they're like, 'Because they're not Jessica Alba,'" she says.
During her toughest moments as an entrepreneur, Alba says she often would seek inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt's leadership style. "She was a huge inspiration for me," she later told CNN.
"She did so many things for so many different people and groups of folks, and she was just one woman," Alba says. "One person can move mountains if you have the perseverance and the determination and the vision to make it happen."
Latest News
Top news around the world
Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since February 2014.

Russia's war in Ukraine has proven almost every assumption wrong, with Europe now wondering what left is safe to assume.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Madonna’s most bizarre TikTok and Instagram videos of 2022 | Page Six Celebrity News
December 30, 2022
Ggk_RlohXuI
Teresa Giudice and Luis Ruelas stand by sex multiple times a day: It’s ‘normal’ | Page Six
December 30, 2022
AljKbtgRGnc
Lisa Hochstein shared video confronting Lenny Hochstein & girlfriend at Miami club #shorts | PageSix
December 30, 2022
j_JVk60r6EI
'Channel 5' Creator Andrew Callaghan Talks BTS of 'This Place Rules' Documentary Feature
December 30, 2022
dJit_YG5fjg
#brendanfraser on getting jacked to play 'George of the Jungle' after 'Airheads" with #adamsandler
December 30, 2022
bkwreE4eMRQ
Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling and Julia Fox Top the List Of Variety's Best Red Carpet Moments Of 2022
December 29, 2022
pv2A-331cLg
Wiz Khalifa Joins Neek Bucks For Upcoming 'Shot Caller' Video | TMZ
December 26, 2022
TxkRr1jj-gk
Andrew Zimmern Says TikTok Recipes Need to Stop This Holiday Season | TMZ
December 26, 2022
DdlO88KfJoY
Top 7 WTF Moments of 2022 | TMZ
December 26, 2022
3JA-5abr6A4
Most HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Movies of 2023 | E! News
January 01, 2023
3-1K1VSRjys
22 Pop Culture Moments That Defined 2022: Link in Comments! #shorts | E! News
December 31, 2022
MNnChuudoSA
Suspect Charged With Murder in Idaho College Killings | E! News
December 31, 2022
aeonRlI5xL0
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Chelsea
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Bristol City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sunderland
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Everton
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester United
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Arsenal
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Espanyol
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Osasuna
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Crystal Palace
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Leeds
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Southampton
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Valencia
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Real Madrid
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Hull City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Burnley
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Reading
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Watford
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Sevilla
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Almeria
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Mallorca
29
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Elche
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
West Bromwich Albion - Preston NE
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sheffield United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Nottingham Forest
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Bournemouth
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.