Rose Marcario: She's Affecting Change

February 20 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: The Important Things

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about minimalism. For many of the people interviewed in the film, this concept involves decreasing stress and debt while increasing flexibility and sustainability. Sounds pretty good, right?

Minimalism involves caring about quality over quantity, shuns the compulsory consumption that has long plagued many Americans and espouses the uncomplicated joys that make life truly great.

Today, vow to take a good, hard look at all the things in your life, and rid yourself of at least five items that do nothing to make your life better. And if your pack-rat philosophy nags at you, resolve to replace those five items with five new friendships. We promise you won’t regret it!


They say we vote with our dollars. In other words, when you hand over that credit card, you’re endorsing a certain company or brand. In 2017, consider putting your hard-earned bucks toward something you believe in, like woman-owned businesses.

According to a recent Business Insider story, there are 22 successful women-led companies that prove there’s much more to business than profits. These change-making businesses include the likes of Tory Burch, who created a foundation and fellowship program; our very own former Woman to Watch Sarah Kauss, who gives a portion of the proceeds from her S’well water bottles to charities that support the earth and clean water; and even today’s fabulous Woman to Watch.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Rose Marcario, President and CEO of Patagonia

Rose Marcario is the president and CEO of Patagonia, the iconic outdoor-clothing brand that aims to create beautiful, minimalist designs that are as harmless as possible to the environment.

While Rose says one of the most rewarding aspects of working for Patagonia is the opportunity for hands-on involvement in tackling environmental crises, her career path started in a less-than-altruistic industry: the financial sector. She had held a couple of financial jobs at tech companies before landing a position at a private equity firm, all of which required her to concentrate on fiscal results and investor demands—work that seemed at odds with her own Buddhist philosophies. Before long, Rose experienced an oh-no moment when thinking about what she spent the bulk of her time on, and that it was, in her mind, fueling greed. Her values didn’t align with her career, so she quit, vowing her next venture would be more complementary to her moral code.

She traveled to India and Nepal, meditating on what was to come next. Then the founder of Patagonia came calling, offering her the position of chief financial officer at his company. Though she was initially skeptical, one of the things Rose says piqued her interest in the job is the founder’s history of staying true to himself and his ideals since starting the company in 1970.

Now Rose gets paid to care about what matters to her: affecting change. How cool is that? For instance, she sent Patagonia employees—about half of whom are women—to help with relief efforts following the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And her environmental activism includes preservation-focused work with such organizations as the nonprofit Joshua Tree National Park Association and the Mojave Desert Land Trust.

A really appealing aspect of Patagonia is that it doesn’t push the hard sell. In a world full of advertisements, Patagonia takes a different approach, with its social media highlighting inspiring natural images, some of which show people wearing or using Patagonia products and some that don’t. It’s part of what’s led the brand to have some serious customer loyalty.

Rose is a great example that making career decisions based on our closely held beliefs can lead to a successful worldwide business that also has a positive environmental impact.


Money comes and goes in our lives. But our values, the stuff that matters most, can’t ever be taken from us. As Patagonia’s Rose Marcario says:

“Profit isn’t the only measure of success.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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