Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Successful Business Women on Helping Women

Christy Turlington Burns has been modeling since forever, it seems, and it's great to hear that she takes care of her health and to see that she takes care of her looks, too.  Every year she feels more comfortable as a woman, and lives a fuller life, she relates.  But more than the profession she is best known for, Turlington is also a philanthropist.  In 2010, for example, she launched Every Mother Counts, which helps to prevent deaths from pregnancy and childbirth.  She relishes having new audiences to speak to, and appreciates being asked for her fresh perspectives among policy makers and advocates.  She challenges herself to do a range of things - such as making a movie, writing a book - and dislikes relegating herself, or being relegated, to a box or label.  Her advice to herself of 20 years ago?  Keep company with people you aspire to become.  

Tory Burch has literally fashioned her name into an iconic brand, and has apparently broken the threshold of $1 billion in net worth.  Best entrepreneurial advice she's received?  Buckle up, embrace it. Have tenacity, have vision.  Like Turlington, she speaks to motherhood, when she relates she's most proud of her sons.  She adds, Success is feeling good about what you’re contributing. It’s about happiness.  Moira Forbes is one of the best interviewers I know.  After offering the preface that Burch is one of the most accomplished, powerful, self-made women in the world, for example, she asks her to define power.  It's the ability to effect change and to give back.

Sara Blakely didn't expect to focus her business so much on women's butts. Spanx is an apparel company, which affords women a slim, shapely appearance. Like Burch, she tips the scale at $1 billion in net worth, and at age 42, is the youngest self-made billionaire woman in the world. In such rarefied air, really, she has joined Warren Buffet and Bill Gates on the Giving Pledge. How does she want her contribution earmarked? Solve inequality, elevate women, fulfill their potential. In yet another fortunate meeting, Nelson Mandela advised her: If you want to change the world, help the women. One person can change the world.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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