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Women in Business: Q&A with Brooke Wall, CEO and Founder, The Wall Group

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Brooke Wall is the founder and president of The Wall Group, an agency that represents a diverse and selective group of makeup artists, hair stylists, manicurists, colorists, fashion stylists and production designers working at the vanguard of the fashion world. All together, they form a community of talent around the world who energize and inspire the fashion industry from within.

Brooke continues to expand The Wall Group's reach into markets not traditionally within the purview of the agency model. Well-versed in both the luxury and the mass markets, The Wall Group has consulted for international brands such as Chanel and Unilever.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I think leadership starts from a young age in one's family structure and is cultivated from there. I was fortunate enough to be supported by my mother in that way, she recognized my ability to take charge of things and allowed me the freedom to succeed or fail, and while I was young it seemed like a lot more fun to succeed then fail, and from those successes, I was drawn to other leaders and learned the language of leadership.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position as the founder of the Wall Group?
I took ownership of every position I ever held prior to The Wall Group and I gave 110% no matter what the task and advanced greatly in most of my employment experiences. There was one job that I was fired from and it took me a long time to understand why, but it has helped me greatly in the processes of letting go of employees. It taught me the sensitivities and the benefits of letting people go that are not right for a particular role, and often have difficulty assessing that on their own.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Lots of exercise and interests in all kinds of fascinating activities - I find learning new things and having adventures help recharge my batteries and allow me to bring new insight into our core business, and having wonderful partners, friends, and family!

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at The Wall Group?
Managing people and their expectations is always challenging. Being able to help others succeed and achieve their career goals is always rewarding.

What advice can you offer individuals who are seeking a career in the agency industry?
Do your research and find a great agency with a solid team and be ready to roll up your sleeves and learn as much as you can from successful people, it can be a very rewarding career path.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace? What I notice most amongst women is a lack of team spirit, it's not what women generally grow up learning through sports the way men do. Women often learn individual sports rather than team sports, and business is a team sport!

What are your thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book and movement?
I find it inspiring and I deeply appreciate Sheryl's focus on the movement. I think it is very important to look at where we are at right now and assess what's working and what doesn't for women.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
It makes an enormous difference who you learn from, I feel so lucky to have had amazing mentors that I hear in my head everyday still.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I'm all over the place with this, the obvious...Hilary Clinton, Oprah, Melinda Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Christiane Amanpour, Malala, Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Miuccia Prada, Maureen Cliquet, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Christy Turlington the list can go on; plus a ton of women that own and run small businesses. The underlying theme for me is solid stewardship of their companies or humanity.

What are your hopes for the future of the Wall Group?
That we can always be industry leaders and break ground in new areas.