Business First | Women in business: Celebrating International Women's…

Women in business: Celebrating International Women's Day 2017

08 Mar 2017 –– News
International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. This day celebrates the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women worldwide. To mark the occasion, we've profiled five business women inspiring others.

5 inspirational women in business

1. Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook's Chief Operating Officer

Sandberg has increased Facebook's revenues 66-fold in the last eight years. She's ranked #7 on Forbes' 2016 list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and #1 in their list of The World's 20 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Harvard graduate Sandberg became the first female appointed to Facebook's board of directors in 2012. After being headhunted from Google, Sandberg made Facebook profitable in her first three years in the role.

Last year, she donated $31 million in Facebook stocks to a charity supporting women in the workplace and women's empowerment. She's also a single mum to two children, after the sudden death of her husband in 2015.

2. Oprah Winfrey - media personality

Media queen Oprah Winfrey is the only black billionaire in the USA. In fact, she's the only black female billionaire in world history. Indeed, her wealth is estimated at $3 billion. Winfrey overcame a childhood plagued by poverty, physical and sexual abuse. Now, she's one of the most successful and best loved media personalities in the world. Incredibly, she became a millionaire at the age of just 32.

The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years and had $300 million viewes a year. It was the highest rated show of its kind, changing the talk show format into the "therapy" style now common today. Winfrey did things differently. She was warm, she opened up and in turn, her guests did the same.

Winfrey is also founder of the Oprah Winfrey Network, a radio station, two magazines, a book club and a charity. What's more, she has given more than $400 million to educational causes. This has made her the greatest black philanthropist America has ever seen.

3. Diane Von Furstenberg - fashion designer

Diane Von Furstenberg's career in fashion began in Paris in the 1970s. The Belgian brains behind the wrap dress, her designs have been worn by high profile women everywhere. Michelle Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge and Madonna, to name but a few.

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Von Furstenburg said her mother taught her "fear is not an option".

Von Furstenberg's 40-year career has encompassed clothes, cosmetics, perfume, home shopping and jewellery. She has served as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 2006.

The annual DVF Awards celebrate women who show strength, leadership and courage towards women's causes.

4. Indra Nooyi - Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi is head of PepsiCo's 22 brands. Each generates around $1 billion annually. Together, they make up the world's second largest food and drink company.

Number 14 in Forbes' World's Most 100 Powerful Women 2016, Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994.

Born in India in 1955, Nooya studied and worked in Madras, now known as Chennai. She graduated with a master's degree from Yale School of Management in 1978.

Ranked #1 most powerful woman in business by Fortune magazine, she has a net worth of $144 million and is mother to two daughters.

5. Jacqueline Gold CBE - Chief Executive of Ann Summers

Jacqueline Gold CBE surprised her father by following him into the family business. Which happened to be a chain of upmarket sex shops.

Gold transformed Ann Summers into the household name it is today, taking it from four to 352 branches. Her secret? Selling directly to women via girls-only, at-home parties.

Changing British attitudes to sex, empowering women to take control of their lives and giving them a revenue stream that could fit seamlessly around family life. Just a few of Gold's achievements to date.

Gold refused to let childhood sexual abuse, depression, fertility struggles and the death of a child stand in the way of her success. Now, Gold wants to show her young daughter “she can be anything she wants to be”.