Women CEOs in SWFL have advice for other women

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

Powerful women in business are giving advice to other women about how they worked their way to the top.

Molly Langenstein, the CEO of Chicos, and Elyse Lipman, the CEO of Lipman Family Farms, are two Southwest Florida powerhouses who paved their way to success.

“I learned very early on the power that clothes can have in putting confidence in women,” Langenstein said.

Lipman said her company is a fourth-generation family-owned business.

“I grew up incredibly proud of this company,” Lipman said.

Chicos reported second-quarter net sales of $545 million and Lipman Family Farms Crops is up tens of millions in revenue yearly.

It’s no secret the two CEOs have done a lot to reach greatness.

Through the process, they learned a lot and have some advice for women trying to make their way.

“Through my career path, my absolute core value that I’m driven by is by curiosity,” Lipman said, “so the opportunity to learn new things. I enjoy being the one in the room who doesn’t have the answers, right? I’d rather have more questions than answers and get the chance to learn from people who are true experts and truly passionate about what they do.”

Lipman said there are points in careers where frustration looms, but she has never felt like giving up.

“I find that challenges are things that make you stronger, and give you the opportunity to be able to overcome them, so they’ve always been learning experiences for me,” Lipman said.

Even after reaching greatness, Lipman and Langenstein know their work is far from over.

Langenstein said knowing your own value is essential.

“I think that’s incredibly important for women and women leaders, I find that women think that they need to know everything, and they want to be able to master it with perfection before they’re ready to take on that next role,” she said. “Really, an important lesson is that you don’t need to know how to do everything, you need to know how to ask good questions.”

And it’s important to know women must be willing to empower other women.

“No individual is capable of being meant to do just everything alone, right?” Lipman said. “The potential is endless.”

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