“Live Your Values” | Amanda Brown Lierman

Posted on October 25, 2021

Wine is political. Isn’t everything?

To encourage a healthy cross-fertilization of ideas and forward thinking in the wine world and beyond, we introduce a new interview series spotlighting powerful leadership outside of the beverage industry. Our inaugural piece features insight from Amanda Brown Lierman, Executive Director of the membership-based platform for women’s activism, Supermajority.

"You are in a position to do things differently ... Be aware of the disparities, and also your power to address them."

Founded by Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood), Alicia Garza (Black Futures Lab) and Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance) Supermajority emerged from a vision connecting women of all races, geographies, and backgrounds together to organize for shared values. In short, solidarity can create real change. Sign up to join their thriving community, and get $10 off your first Woman-Owned Wineries wine delivery!

Supermajority is built with a mission to create a world where “women’s equity is a given”. What is most urgently needed to realize this vision? 

We need to listen to women. First and foremost. No one knows what we need for ourselves and our families better than we do. And as the majority of voters in this country, our government should represent us too.

Right now, women across the country are organizing and demanding access to quality health care, affordable child care, equal pay, paid leave and more; we are demanding systemic change and permanent solutions. The pandemic hit women, especially women of color, hard; and we need to see opportunity, not just recovery. It is past time for our elected officials and decision makers to take action and ensure that the resources that women need to thrive are available.

Many of our followers are women business owners. What practical steps can these folks take to help ensure they are building a more equitable workplace and world?

I know well the challenges that women business owners face; I watched my mom navigate entrepreneurship and connected with thousands of women during my time at the National Women’s Business Council. We all know that diversity is good and it’s good for business. Here are a few reminders:

  • Make the commitment. It can’t be a one-time campaign or hire. Train your team on equitable practices, and to help you spot blind spots.
  • Listen and lead with empathy. Invest in your team, and they will invest in you/your business. Be open to feedback and to change. Build a culture where your team feels valued and respected.
  • Live your values. You are in a position to do things differently. Equal pay for equal work. Representation and inclusion. Be aware of the disparities, and also your power to address them.

What key lesson(s) have you learned on your journey as a leader?

I have learned so much on my journey, and oftentimes reflect upon the lessons learned from my mistakes. One important lesson is to accept feedback with two ears, a closed mouth, and grace. Sometimes it can be hard to hear about what isn’t working when you have dedicated so much time and energy into a project. You have a lot of sweat equity in your business. But it’s important to create a culture of feedback and innovation, so you have the opportunity to listen and learn and make adjustments as necessary. Conflict can be good, and even transformative. New and different perspectives make you, your product, and your business better.

Who inspires you most and why?

My best friend, now angel, Meleia Willis-Starbuck inspires me. I met her during my freshman year in college. She was wordly, opinionated, outspoken, strong-willed, and deeply committed to social justice. Meleia was tragically shot and killed the summer before our junior year. Yet, to this day, her influence is still present in everything I do. She helped me find my own voice and step into my own—with confidence.

What’s in your glass at the end of the day? 

A glass of Vinho Verde would be my choice, though it doesn’t happen often enough. More regularly, I’m drinking the half-drunk seltzer water that one of my kids opened at dinner!