Dawn Gerrain; President, Milady; Schodack Landing, New York
Under Dawn Gerrain’s leadership, Milady has become one of the most widely used providers of educational materials and continuing education across the globe for beauty and wellness students and salon and spa professionals. Dawn has been in publishing for 20 plus years, with a well-rounded background in the industry. She is currently making the development of cutting-edge technology and producing digital products a priority at Milady. Gerrain holds an MBA from the State University of New York at Albany, and she currently resides in Schodack Landing, New York, with her husband and two children.
Do you believe a woman in the professional beauty industry can “have it all?” And, what does that mean to you?
“The definition of having it all is relative to each of us individually, so my perspective as to what it means can be different than someone else’s perspective. That being said, I don’t think that any one person can truly “have it all.” I believe that both men and women have to make certain sacrifices in order to maintain a positive work-life balance, whether that means missing a family member’s event, not being able to get to the gym as frequently as you would like or having to compromise on a vacation date based on schedules. Certainly, how great those sacrifices are will vary from person to person, and what one considers as a sacrifice, another may not. From my perspective, being able to have a family that participates in many activities together, having a very rewarding career and finding time to fit in some things that I personally enjoy are my idea of having it all. My perfect week would consist of, achieving the work goals that I’ve set for that week, attending my kids sporting events, getting to exercise at least four times and sitting down to a few dinners together as a family. Some weeks this works out, others it doesn’t.”
In the pursuit of “having it all,” what sacrifices have you had to make, if any?
“I have two children, a 14-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. Missing out on some of their activities is a definite sacrifice. I love watching them play sports, and if I’m traveling, or have a work conflict, not being there is a disappointment. Growing up, I had the privilege of having both of my parents attend all of my sporting events. Their support at the games meant a great deal to me. However, I am very lucky in that I do have the opportunity to see many of their games although this means I tackle a number of Milady-related responsibilities once the sun goes down. In many instances my husband, in-laws, mother and sister also attend games so it takes some of the pressure off if I can’t make it. My husband travels with his job, and juggling our schedules so that one of us is home with the kids can sometimes be challenging. For now, that’s important for us, so even though we can be like two ships passing in the night, we are able to avoid a lot of travel conflicts. We also have a lot of support from family and friends, which makes a world of difference. That being said, I think the fact that both my husband and I have demanding careers has made us appreciate one another more. It also makes it more important that everyone in our family chips in to keep things running smoothly. In addition to having great support at home, I am lucky to have a great group of people at work. The team I’m privileged to lead at Milady is driven, focused on customer needs and always willing to help one another out. It takes a great deal of pressure off me knowing I can trust them to get the job done and get it done right.”