dE ROSAIRO Woman: A Man's Perspective
Full Name: David Batstone
Title: Founder & President
Company: Not For Sale
What about your career makes you feel proud?
I am constantly inventing. I believe that the status quo needs to be changed, such that the same old methods will not ‘be’ the change. I have dedicated myself to reinventing business models and the ways we practice charity. I have dedicated myself to sustainability where I get to create a world in which my children’s children can thrive.
What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
I was open to what the world brought me. My favorite restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area turned out to be the center of a human trafficking ring that delivered hundreds of teenagers from the region of Bangalore, India into California for the purpose of forced labor, in other words, modern slavery. I was deeply saddened by this discovery, and so I began investigating where else this might be happening in the world. I discovered that it was an international problem that stretched all the way into my own backyard. I could not stand by and do nothing. This is how Not For Sale was born.
Why does being involved in human trafficking matter?
Human trafficking is the extreme action of taking away an individual’s dignity. To steal someone’s destiny, to take away their freedom, is the ultimate exploitation. That is not the world I want to live in. Being an American, and being from a family legacy of people in Europe who fled religious and political persecution, I survived because someone stood up for me. The burden of history, for the future, rests with me, and those of us alive in this generation. Not For Sale is my way of standing up for those exploited through the unspeakable act of human trafficking.
On your journey to success what role has diversity played in your career and in your life?
Diversity is beautiful; it completes us in those ways where we feel partial. I have certain strengths, and definite weaknesses. So in whatever role I take on I search for those who can enhance my mission, complete my task, extend my reach. Intolerance for diversity typically is borne out of fear, and out of insecurity. But to free yourself up to the world, and to see the richness of diverse people, cultures, and lifestyles, generates opportunity and creativity.
As a male, what are some of the challenges you face in the workforce?
For anyone, male or female, the work place is a competitive playing field. It takes a tremendous amount of self-confidence to overcome temporary setbacks or the feedback loop that suggests you are not talented enough to carry out your aspirations. All the same, as a white male many of the challenges I face are those I create for myself; a lack of belief or execution on resources. Most women or people of color face challenges that are externally created. In other words, they face hurdles and dead ends that are generated by others. We’re talking self-created versus environmentally created challenges, and that’s a huge difference.
How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
Women so often provide a perspective and a strategy for solving problems that are unique in comparison to what a male might provide. When we have only males around the table - which happens all too often in the world of business and politics - we are missing out on alternative solutions. In my experience, women tend to be much more pragmatic and persistent than my male colleagues, because they are used to multi-tasking as a working professional, a homemaker, a mother, among other things. All of these roles carry heavy responsibility, and women for the last couple of decades have been carrying these different roles out heroically.
What advice do you have for leaders on the topic of diversity, both men and women alike?
Embrace the other. Listen twice and speak once. Ask yourself each week if you feel smarter than the week before. If you can honestly say that you do not feel smarter than the week before, then you probably are living in stagnation. Diversity breeds learning and creative living, and for this reason and more we need both men and women at the table.
Favorite quote and by whom?
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” | Lord of the Rings
How does what you wear make you feel?
The clothes I wear make me feel confident and self-assured. It creates a mood - a form of wearapy. So dress like you mean it. Put your best shoe design forward at all times.
What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
I like a Montecristo cigar along with a glass of 30 year-old Balvaine Scotch and a bubble bath.
What is your favorite dE ROSAIRO design?
My favorite design is the woman’s Smoking Jacket. It is elegant and sophisticated. If I met a woman at a cocktail party sporting this jacket I would think she is inspired and confident of her own talents.