Advice from the woman at the top - FOX 35 News Orlando

Advice from the woman at the top

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Bold, out of the box ideas have launched HSN's brand to new heights. It's the reason Forbes named Mindy Grossman one of its "Most Influential Women." She's not afraid to speak her mind.

"I'm definitely known as one of those bold risk takers," said Mindy Grossman. "I do think it's still funny when a woman is bold or gets challenging, she's considered bitchy, where as a man would be considered strong."

She's aggressively grown HSN to include Frontgate, Ballard Design, Garnett Hill and Chasing Fireflies.

Gaming for women is next to keep the ladies glued to HSN. Then there's the power of celebrity.

"Wolfgang Puck is an authority on cooking. Serena Williams, who I've known for many years, is an authority in fashion and Randy Jackson in music," Grossman explained.

However, you don't have to be a celebrity woman to work your way up the chain at HSN.

"We hire the best talent and we pay for the best talent. We have an incredibly diverse company. Sixty percent of our senior leadership are women," she says.

Huge numbers because only four percent of Fortune 1,000 CEOs are women. She credits women like Sheryl Sandberg, who speak up about how women can get to the top.

"I think we could lean in all we want, but if we're not changing the culture around us and companies are not insisting on diversity and creating those succession plans for women and supporting those efforts, this isn't gonna happen by osmosis," Grossman said.

One of her heroes is local CEO Liz Smith, who is the highest paid CEO in the Tampa Bay area. The two are good friends.

"I've now joined the Bloomin' Brands board since they've gone public, and I have so much respect for her. I think she is not just smart and tenacious, but she also understands the power of, she's building a culture, she's building a brand, and she's building a sustainable business."

Grossman earned more than $5 million at HSN last year, and that makes her the sixth highest paid CEO in the Tampa Bay area. Her advice to women?

"Are you passionate about what you do? Two, purpose. Is it purposeful. Is it gonna take you to where you want to go? And three, will it have impact?"

Great advice from the woman at the top.

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