Carmela Cugini

Equality Impact Award Winner

Launched in 2018, the Equality Impact Awards honor the contributions and leadership of women and allies that are changing historically, and often notoriously, unequal industries.

The awards are given to both women and allies in tech, retail and publishing who are breaking glass ceilings, fighting for equal pay, championing diversity and inclusion and ensuring that the workplace is better for themselves and those who come after them.

Today, we honor one of our 2019 winners, Carmela Cugini, Executive Vice President of Sales at Bowery Farming. Carmela answered 5 questions about the state of equality in the industry. Take a look!

1. If you could tell 16-year-old you one thing, what would it be?

Be proud of who you are, live life to its fullest and be careful not to allow the opinions and beliefs of others to limit your potential.

2. What was your dream job when you were just starting your career? How has that dream evolved?

I wanted to become a motivational speaker so I could positively impact the lives of others. I came to realize that being a great leader would allow me the opportunity to develop talent and impact the lives of others in a different way; through coaching, development and mentorship.

3. What does gender equality mean to you?

We should all have the same access, opportunities, compensation and rights regardless of the sex with which we identify.

4. Who is one person in your industry who has inspired you in your fight for equality? How have they done so?

Caralyn Cooley is the CPO of Bowery Farming. We have known each other for 15 years and have worked together, on and off, for more than five. She is honest, respectful, provides impactful feedback, and looks at each person for the talent they bring. Diversity and equality is not something she practices, it is something she reflects naturally in all she does. You can see it in the teams she has built and in the friends she keeps. This approach is the key to change.

5. What’s one concrete next step that others can take to promote equality (of any sort) in the workplace?

Get involved in an associate resource group.


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Lucy Leonard

Lucy is Wunderkind’s Content Marketing Manager. She is a fan of the em dash, a connoisseur of 140 characters, a creator of content and a lover of words. She also hates the Oxford Comma… a lot.