Allison Haunss

New York city

What is your name?

Allison Haunss


Where are you from?

New York City


What is your website?

www.nuhanzilife.com and www.workingwomanreport.com


Why Are you a Nühanzi?

A Nühanzi woman is an independent, strong woman who lives without doubt. I have always been going against the grain, fighting for truth. As the creator and host of the “Working Woman Report”, I have been at the forefront of the women’s empowerment movement for years. My journey as a journalist interviewing and researching thousands of female entrepreneurs and leaders around the world has inspired me to help to break stereotypes for what a woman should be and how she should behave.


What is a favorite quote?

“A woman should be two things, who and what she wants ” – Coco Chanel


What’s your favorite story of overcoming adversity or a seemingly impossible situation?

In the many years I have spent as a TV news reporter, anchor and businesswoman, I’ve been spoken over, interrupted, and judged by my appearance. I’ve been told I’m too bossy, too aggressive and most hurtfully, left out of networking opportunities because I’m a woman. And I know I am not alone. I’ve witnessed many other women face these frustrating double standards. Yet somehow, we always rise above them, crushing it so hard that people have no choice but to take us seriously. I started the Working Woman Report after my boss rejected my idea to do a series of stories on women in business and leadership.  Instead of taking a NO, I turned around and hired my own photographer, editor and writer and started doing the stories that I wanted to tell about women who inspired me. Those stories eventually became the TV show the “Working Woman Report” which eventually led me to the creation of www.nuhanzilife.com . Rejection can open the door to so many new possibilities, you just have to be willing to pick your head up and move on.

 


Who is your favorite Nuhanzi
of all time and why?

I have so many Nühanzi women I admire, but when I think of the Nühanzi woman, I  immediately think of Pink. Her speech at the VMA’s perfectly embodies the Nühanzi attitude. Pink’s six-year-old daughter Willow inspired her to reflect on gender norms when she told her, “I’m the ugliest girl I know.” When Pink asked Willow what she meant by that, it became clear that she essentially meant she was “masculine.” “I look like a boy.” She said.

 

Pink’s been told the same thing, she confided in her daughter. “When people make fun of me, that’s what they use,” she said. “They say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or I have too many opinions, my body is too strong.” As she pointed out by bringing in her strong opinions, this isn’t just about looks. The criticism  she faces is really about the fact that she’s bucking gender norms, whether she’s doing that with her appearance or her behavior.  It’s the same criticism the Nühanzi women have always suffered. And by staying herself in the face of it all, Pink is engaging in the same kind of rebellion as the Nühanzi. She drove this point home in her response to Willow.  “And I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?” she recounted “She said, ‘No, mama.” I said, ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world? ‘No mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ OK! So, baby girl. We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”


What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?

I am not sure if I have a single biggest failure but I fail all of the time. Believe me, learning to fail is a skill!

When you hit a roadblock, as we all do, be ready to fail. It’s OK.  If we are not willing to fail or put ourselves out there, we may never get what we really want. Collectively, as women, many of us have a very difficult time with failure and avoid it at all costs. In fact, a poll by Time and Real simple suggested that an unwillingness to fail or a fear of doing anything that could lead to a failure or embarrassment might be one of the very things that is impeding women’s progress up the corporate ladder. In the study, 40% of women believed that the ability to innovate was one of the keys to success. But as we all know, you can’t innovate without making mistakes.

 

In a Time piece citing this study, Belinda Luscombe wrote, “Failure often hurts, but as Lawrence of Arabia said (in the movie, at least), “the trick is not minding that it hurts” and swimming back through the swell to try again. What is innovation, after all, but failing to solve a problem a little less badly each time?

 

 


What are you working on now?

Nühanzi and Working Woman Report

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