A woman being a CEO of a leading company of fashion and luxury products is a big deal, but Maureen Chiquet was more than just that. She might be the former global CEO of Chanel now, but her whole life – professional and personal – is a perfect example of how women should defy societal as well as gender roles. From being a literature major to a global chief executive, she became real and talked her heart out at an event held by Northeastern University.
The event was the start of the daylong ‘Women who Empower’ summit, where the talk subtly turned to Chiquet’s book, ‘Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms’. Diane MacGillivray, the senior vice president for University Advancement, was very impressed by her story. “(Chiquet) is a woman who embodies what it means to be open to experience and who has been exceptionally generous in sharing her own story,” said MacGillivray.
Chiquet, in her talk, was keen on explaining how she defined herself the way she wants and not in the way the society wanted. Her childhood was filled with love for literature and looking into all kinds of stories from books, television, and cinema, thus making her meet her real self. She ultimately was hired in a marketing position at L’Oreal Paris, quite rightfully so. “It was there that I ended up crafting my own career,” she said.
After L’Oreal, Chiquet worked at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, before finally landing into Chanel. She wants her story to be used by students to pave their own career paths in this world. People, therefore, should understand where their interests lie; only then will you be able to realise what you really want to pursue in your life and leave your unique mark on the World.
“No matter what job you’re in, it’s finding within that job the thing that you can get excited about,” Chiquet stated. “Find something that interests you, but also think about what are the things I can take away from this job.”