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Katie Colleran

18 Oct 2016

Inspirational Women In Business

This week we're turning our e-shots pink, and raising awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That's why we're bringing you the amazing and motivational stories of some of the most influential women in business, from politics to entertainment.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah's is one of the greatest rags to riches stories. Born in poverty to a single teenage mother, she has become arguably the most influential woman in the world, Oprah is America's first black female billionaire, the richest African-American woman and the richest self-made woman in America.

Oprah revolutionised the talk show genre in America, focusing on topics such as literature, self-help and spirituality, not to mention interviewing the rich and famous; her interview with the late Michael Jackson is the most watched talk show interview ever. In addition to her talk show, Oprah has also had great successes in film, print and on the radio.

Not only does the power of her opinions and endorsements influence public opinion, but Oprah has also shown thousands of women worldwide that anything is possible no matter what your background.

Inspirational quote: "Devote today to something so daring even you can't believe you're doing it."

Lady Karren Brady

Born in North London, Karren began her career straight out of school with an advertising agency. She was appointed Managing Director of Birmingham City FC at the age of 23, and became the youngest MD of a UK plc when she floated the club on the London Stock Exchange.

Birmingham City is just one of Karren's success stories, having sold the club for £82m in 2009. When she took over West Ham FC in January 2010, there were no senior women on the team - a figure she has since single-handedly increased to 50%. Karren further negotiated a successful bid for the club's move to the iconic Olympic Stadium.

Karren was awarded a CBE for services to women in business and entrepreneurship in 2013, before being elevated to the House of Lords by David Cameron the following year.

Inspirational quote: "You can't determine where you start in life, but you can determine where you end up"

Michelle Mone OBE

Born in Scotland, Michelle Mone was prompted to set up her own business when she was made redundant from her role as Head of Marketing at a brewing company. As with most business ventures, it started with a problem - and Michelle's was with an uncomfortable bra!

With a £5,000 grant from the Princes Trust, Michelle set up lingerie brand Ultimo, which she built into a successful £39m business over the next 17 years. In 2001, she was invited by Prince Charles to join the board of The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust, and was later appointed a member of its council.

Michelle has appeared on Celebrity Masterchef, The Apprentice and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! to name a few. And, following an OBE for services to the lingerie industry in 2010, Michelle was created a life peer as Baroness Mone OBE in September last year.

Inspirational quote: "Every time they try to bring me down, I fly higher"

Hillary Clinton

Hillary is definitely our favourite presidential candidate, and she couldn't be more up to the job! When Hillary was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001, she became the first American first lady to ever win a public office seat. She later became the 67th U.S. secretary of state in 2009, serving until 2013.

Best known as a prominent lawyer, she's also a former first lady, senator and secretary of state and the first presidential spouse to earn a postgraduate degree. In 2016, she became the first woman in U.S. history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party.

From 1986 until 1992, Hillary served on the Wal-Mart board, using her position to advance women's issues in the workplace. It's also rumoured that whilst husband Bill was Governor of Arkansas, she was earning more than him through her law work.

Finally, did you know Hillary won a Grammy in 1997? Unfortunately it wasn't for showcasing a hidden rap talent, but for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio version of her book "It Takes a Village."

Inspirational quote: "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely - and the right to be heard."

Beyonce

Beyonce Knowles (if you haven't already heard of her) is a multi-platinum, Grammy award winning recording artist and actress who found fame with the girl group Destiny's Child in the late 1990s, before going solo and gaining momentum to become the first woman to reach No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart with her first five albums.

In the 19 years she's held the spotlight, Beyonce seems to have found success in whatever she does. Her marriage to Jay-Z only served to propel the power couple further into the spotlight.

Beyonce has not only starred in successful films such as Austin Powers Goldmember, The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records, but has also found time to release 4 albums with Destiny's Child, together with 6 solo albums.

Now managing her own career (having previously had her father Matthew as her manager), Beyonce has not one, but two clothing lines (House of Dereon and Ivy Park) and has released a number of perfumes in her name, while also finding time to perform the Super Bowl half time show twice, and head off on 4 headlining world tours.

Inspirational quote: "Power is not something that is given to you - you have to take it"

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