Molly Higgins, executive vice president of community affairs and engagement for the Los Angeles Rams
Since winning the Super Bowl in February, have things changed for you in your role? If so, how?
We really feel the enthusiasm. The requests are hot and heavy, whether it’s player appearances, cheerleaders or mascots, autographs, community partnerships, and more. I always tell my team – and Kevin shares this sentiment as well – to grow humbly and not change. We’re the same organization we were before we won the Super Bowl. We just want to take it all in stride.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
The need in our community. There are so many needs, and when you’re in the community to meet these people and hear their stories, it’s hard because I want to say ‘yes’ to everything. I want to change the world. I know the problem with that is that if you try to be everything to everyone, it really dilutes your impact. This, to me, becomes transactional rather than transformative philanthropy. You really have to resist that urge, and sometimes you can be creative in how you help. We may not take a big initiative with an organization, but we will try to take care of them with an autographed item that they can fundraise with. It’s hard. You never want to just show up for a quick appearance; you want to create a lasting relationship, and I think we’ve done a really good job of establishing those priority pillars. Most of them center around social justice and things that disproportionately impact our communities of color, including food insecurity, housing insecurity/homelessness, education inequity, community-police relations and mentoring. We do a ton of mentorship with kids, especially in under-resourced communities. Mentoring is really important to us.
Speaking of mentors, do you have any who have helped you in your career?
I’ve had so many – many of whom know they’re a mentor of mine and many of whom don’t know I appoint them as a mentor. I think it comes down to the fact that I’m constantly trying to learn, and at the Rams we have some of the brightest and most innovative people, and I’m learning from them. I think you can find a mentor in so many different places. For me, I have a lot of mentors that I meet in the community. There is so much wisdom and life experience that I learn in Inglewood and Watts in South Los Angeles. It helps me become a better human relations professional, a better human being, a more empathetic and passionate person. And it helps me better understand the issues that our community is facing.
What advice do you have for women looking to start a career in the industry?
I’m often asked this question, and I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by people who saw the value in me as a human being, not just as a woman. I understand that this is not the case for everyone. But I think we’re in a really exciting time in sports where people are starting to really value diverse opinions, life experiences and perspectives, and that’s certainly the case with women. There are so many opportunities ahead of us.
Dating back to St. Louis when we built our management team, for several years I was the only female on the management team. Fast forward to now, there are five women on our leadership team. Beyond that, there are a number of female heads of departments. We see doors opening, and with the leaders we have at the Rams, I think people really appreciate our contribution and what we women bring to the table.
I was fortunate to be part of an organization that values and prioritizes diversity and inclusion. If I give any advice to a young woman, it would be to find a forward-thinking organization that won’t put limits on you. If you are in an organization that supports you, the sky is the limit. But you still have to find the right organization.