SPOTLIGHT

4 Questions for #WomenHeard Panelist Lauren Ruotolo

Author, Inspirational Speaker, and Content Marketing Leader

Lauren Ruotolo is an accomplished author, inspirational speaker and a content marketing leader for many global brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Cosmopolitan and Elle. She was born with McCune-Albright syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the bones and skin, which requires her to walk with crutches. Lauren took her circumstance and turned it into a feeling of empowerment, which has allowed her to accomplish many of her goals and live her dream life.

She has since won multiple achievement awards in marketing and female empowerment, published her book “Unstoppable in Stilettos” and started her own shoe brand called Unstoppable Shoes. She now looks to inspire others to overcome their own challenges and start leading an amazing life, a life truly worth living. Learn more about Lauren and her mission at www.LaurenRuotolo.net.

1. What is some advice you can offer women looking to re-enter the workforce, and how can they prepare to make themselves stand out?

As a single woman with no children, I cannot personally offer what worked for me, but in working with women who have re-entered the workforce, take it slow, don’t be superwoman on day 1 and push your way through by forcing your voice on people. Most likely most of your colleagues know what you can do and the kind of work you’ve done before, therefore, keep it slow, get to know where people are in projects and offer your expertise without trying to own anything immediately. This way people will respect you for taking the time to acknowledge their work while you were away and acclimating back into the wild wild west of the communications department.

2. What do you love most about the communications industry, and what is it that made you want to pursue it as a career?

I love the act of storytelling, whether it be on the big screen, on stage and or digitally– I love to envision a story in my head then see it come to life. What made me want to be in communications at first is that it brought gravitas to consumers by allowing a star and or brand to shine while my voice and or marketing campaign was the reason they were on stage, in the magazine, on TV, etc. My voice and or idea was the bright star/idea behind the star.

3. What has been the greatest influence throughout your life, and how has this influenced you?

The greatest influence on my life is ME. While that may sound odd, if it wasn’t for me pushing me, I would not be anywhere because everyone wants me to settle, be safe, and told me NO all the time. Because I am a physically disabled person, the world wants to keep me safe, but I know my limits, know when to push myself and most importantly use my voice to get what I need in life.

4. Is there a particular book or film you’ve recently read or seen that has made an impression on you? Why?

Crip Camp on Netflix is one of the most groundbreaking films that help showcase how people with disabilities matter and always have. Asa disability advocate its more important now than ever to showcase our voice so we can change ahead, show the world who we are, to not be afraid of us and more importantly being inclusive of people with disability as part of all diversity and inclusion plans.

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