“I think that if they are expressing an interest in something, even if it’s not the thing that you did as a child or that all of their friends are doing, or it’s something you know nothing about, let’s explore the resources because they are out there.” – Illana Raia

When developing the future female leaders of tomorrow, it’s so important for them to be aware of the female leaders that are impacting the world right now. Today’s Finding Brave guest was inspired by her own daughter to put female role models in front of girls at an early age, and as she shares, we all have a part to play in this critical movement. 

A former Skadden lawyer and guest lecturer at Columbia University, Illana Raia has been busy since 2016 founding Être – a resource and mentorship platform for girls approaching high school. She thinks of Être as a knowledge strategy for girls – highlighting valuable tools and role models they will need to change the world – and contributes regularly to HuffPost, Medium and Thrive Global on these issues. Named a Mogul Influencer in 2017, Illana has appeared in the HuffPost “Talk To Me” video series, participated in the 2018 Balance Project Interviews and the 2019 #WomenWhoRock campaign, and has been featured on podcasts like The Other 50%, UBS’ Signature Series and Women To Watch Media. Her journey from lawyer to founder was profiled in Forbes and Worth, and her first book – Être: Girls, Who Do You Want To Be? – launched October 11, 2019, on Day of the Girl. 

We won’t change the times until we talk about these issues openly, honestly, and with the younger generation. In this episode, Illana reveals why reaching out to girls in middle school is not too early, and as adults we can play a pivotal role in springboarding the change we need right now, because mentors matter and bravery starts early. 

Highlights from this Episode

  • How Illana’s mission to advance the futures for young women started unexpectedly [2:44]

  • Why supporting and mentoring young girls must be a priority for us right now [4:20]

  • How we can model success to young children as the adults in their lives, both at home and at work [8:59]

  • Ways we can support girls even if our spouse or partner isn’t completely onboard with the idea [12:41]

  • The amazing initiatives that Être offers the younger generation of females and the questions Illana asks them that drives every decision she makes [20:24]

  • How Illana transitioned out of a career in law into the work she does today, and an opportunity that she took that changed everything [24:00]

  • What she is doing to grow Être, after starting it quietly [29:19]

  • The action steps we can all take to mentor young girls today [30:01]

  • What’s next for Illana and the exciting plans she has Être [33:55]

For More Information: 






Resources Mentioned: 

Illana’s Book, Être: Girls, Who Do You Want To Be? 

The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani

Finding Brave Episode 19: How To Speak Up Effectively When You Think You Can’t 

Kathy’s Blog Post, What Is Feminism, And Why Do So Many Women And Men Hate It?

Kathy Blog Post with Esther Wojcicki, 5 Essential Keys To Teaching And Raising Phenomenally Successful Adults

For more about Kathy’s upcoming book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths To Career Bliss, sign up for her weekly newsletter at https://kathycaprino.com for updates, free giveaways, contests, and more, coming in Spring 2020


“When I started to think about mentorship, I didn’t want to aim it at high school or college. I wanted to go a little bit earlier, because I think that by the time you’re in middle school, you know what you love.” [5:49]

“When we’re at the point where men and women are each earning a hundred cents on the dollar, we won’t need to talk about equal pay anymore.” [13:25]

“We won’t change the times until we talk about these things openly, honestly and with the younger generation. They can’t learn about these lessons in college.” [13:47]

“Let’s find the women who are in the senior positions, and bring our girls to meet them.” [15:53]

“If you’re talking about other adults who want to make a change, who want to find that brave and make that shift, I say do it. I think you have very little to lose.” [28:07]

“I wanted to give back to girls, because I had a network of strong women.” [28:30]

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