Members of the Movement: Juliet Izon

At buildOn, we celebrate the creative and adventurous steps that members of the buildOn movement take to support education and service at home and abroad. Our “Members of the Movement” series highlights the vital work these supporters are doing to help empower youth and end the education crisis. 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, buildOn invited female leaders from across the U.S. to invest in women’s empowerment initiatives in some of the world’s most economically impoverished countries. They answered and we are honored to call them members of our movement.

One of these women is Juliet Izon, Entertainment Editor at Niche Media. Juliet is honing her own leadership skills every day by learning from her bosses and peers in the media industry. She recently shared her thoughts on the importance of empowering and educating women at home and abroad.

What, to you, are the most important characteristics of female leaders? 

A good leader not only listens to other members of her team, but she trusts her own judgment (even – and especially – with difficult decisions). Leadership is having the faith that your own wisdom and experience means you’re qualified to make the tough choices.

Are there any tangible steps that your company has taken to foster female leadership and empower them to take a larger role?

I feel very lucky to work with and under such talented women. It is wonderful to be surrounded by others in my industry who are creative, motivated and incredibly smart. Every day I strive to be that much better at what I do because I follow their example. I’m also lucky that everyone, even our CEO, is approachable and generous with his or her time and wisdom. A happy work culture fosters productivity, which, in turn, eventually fosters leadership, female or otherwise.

How do you work through challenges that you face as a female leader? 

If you have a clear sense of purpose – in life, in business, in any arena – the tough decisions become easier. Focus on what you know is right and everything will fall into place more easily.

Why do you think it’s important for female leaders in the United States to invest in female leaders and girls abroad? 

For far too many centuries, women have been kept from positions of power. We’re in an exciting time in history right now, where more and more countries are finally realizing the power of women. For those of us in more developed countries, we have to do our utmost to help fellow women in countries where freedom is not a given. You empower one woman and eventually it leads to an entire empowered nation.

Do you think education is a key to success? 

As the adage states, education is power. Literacy, an understanding of history, developed interpersonal skills, all of these things and more contribute to someone who is empowered and equipped to become a leader. The more you know about the world, the easier it is to conquer it.

What advice do you have to inspire the next generation of female leaders in media and beyond?

Women in media are lucky that there are already so many female leaders in the industry. It makes it that much easier to picture oneself in a truly important role. The main takeaway: if they can do it, why can’t you?

izonJuliet Izon is the Entertainment Editor at Niche Media, the preeminent publisher of regional lifestyle magazines in the United States. She recently invested in buildOn’s adult literacy, apprenticeship and leadership development initiatives along with the company’s CEO, Katherine Nicholls.