Episode 142

Mara Gourdine

Podcast Length: 53 minutes | Date Published: 25th May 2022

Today, the need to highlight environmental and social initiatives is more pertinent than ever. Unfortunately, those causes and everything they represent are often drowned out by the latest headline of the day.

However, the increased level of social and environmental awareness and urgency isn’t about to go away. In fact, these issues are only becoming more and more pressing. So, we all need to ‘own’ our contribution and stop waiting for someone else to fix our problems.

My guest on today’s Podcast is Mara Gourdine, the Global Culture Ambassador at John Paul Mitchell Systems. Behind that impressive title, Mara is very much involved in the corporate side of directing and contributing to making change happen.

In my conversation with Mara today my objective is to keep coming back to how salon owners and stylists can adapt what a big business does and integrate those ideas into their own businesses.

In today’s podcast we will discuss:

  • What Mara’s day-to-day job consists of
  • The wider responsibilities of businesses today
  • The importance of greater diversity and inclusivity in every business
  • How salons can include the wider community in more local environmental and social initiatives…

And lots more!


In this Episode:

[03:22] What it means to be a Global Culture Ambassador.

[05:56] Mara shares the story of how she became the Global Culture Ambassador at John Paul Mitchell Systems, and what this role entails.

[14:48] The link between a company’s internal culture and its external impact.

[17:26] A Walk on Water; what this organization does and how John Paul Mitchell Systems became involved with them.

[25:05] Mara’s racial lineage, and the influence that this has had on her life.

[26:23] The global movement that was sparked by the death of George Floyd, and how John Paul Mitchell Systems responded to it.

[32:11] A valuable lesson that Mara learned from her mom about equity and inclusion.

[33:08] Perspectives to be gained from listening to the stories of people who are different from you.

[34:22] The importance of imagery and education when it comes to enhancing the inclusivity of your salon.

[38:22] Mara’s approach to onboarding employees at John Paul Mitchell Systems, and how it differs from her own experience of joining the company.

[43:55] Encouragement from Mara to share your joys and passions with others and to look after your mental and physical health.

[47:47] The key to building a compassionate company culture, and examples of how John Paul Mitchell Studios has done this.

[50:26] Why Mara doesn’t use social media.


Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

They do matter in the rankings of the show and help other people find my podcast.

I also love to hear what’s been helpful and what you love about the podcast! Just click here to review, scroll to the bottom, tap “Ratings and Reviews” tap to rate with 5 stars and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favourite part of the podcast is. Thank you for your support!

Special thanks to Mara for sharing her insights with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!



Links and Resources:

Grow My Salon Business

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Mara Gourdine


Angus Mitchell


John Paul Mitchell Systems

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Paul Mitchell Schools


A Walk on Water