Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 13 Jessica Simpson: The Retail Empress Etc. SURVEY: Female Ambition and Opportunities in Seven Countries L eaders & Daughters, a 2017 study by profes- sional services firm Egon Zehnder of 7,000 professional women in the United States, India, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom, revealed that professional ambi- tion and opportunities vary by both age and country. The study measured various categories, includ- ing salary considerations, career ambitions, gender bias, mentorship, career influences, and professional challenges. The findings reveal that professional women are ambitious and empowered, especially when young and early in their careers. The level of engage- ment and drive—and feelings that opportunities exist for them—go down with age. Here are a few key findings. • Of the women surveyed, 74 percent said they aspire to reach senior/executive leadership ranks within their organization. Ambition is higher in developing economies such as Brazil (92 percent), China (88 percent), and India (82 percent) and lower in the US (62 percent), Australia (61 percent), Germany (58 percent), and the UK (56 percent). • As women advance in their career and age, de- sire to advance into top leadership declines across the board, dropping to 57 percent. • Women in the C-suite who reported feeling gen- der bias "most acutely" work in India (33 percent) and the US (19 percent). • Only 54 percent of women overall had access to senior leaders who act as mentors or informal sponsors. India led the way at 81 percent. This advocacy rate declines as age increases. • Women in developing countries are more likely to receive professional development opportuni- ties—India (95 percent), Brazil (94 percent), and China (92 percent)—than in Australia (80 per- cent), Germany (77 percent), the US (75 percent), and the UK (72 percent). Upfront > I s it possible that singer and actress Jessica Simpson could be considered the most suc- cessful celebrity entrepreneur? Simpson, 37, first hit the public eye as a singer, signing a record deal with Columbia Records when she was 16. She has sold 14.5 million albums worldwide. In 2006 she turned her atten- tion to fashion and launched the Jessica Simpson Collection. It initially focused on shoes and clothing, then over the years expanded, eventually pulling in more than $1 billion in revenue. She seemingly never stops adding to her core business: she has re- leased lines of maternity clothes, perfumes, bedroom decor, work- out clothes, watches, handbags, sunglasses, luggage, and bathing suits. Simpson, who grew up a preacher's daughter in Texas, attributes the popularity and suc- cess of her brand to her persona as a relatable "girl next door." e products reflect her curvaceous figure and bubbly personal- ity. Among her best sellers are cowboy boots, similar to the pair she wore in e Dukes of Haz- zard. Her collection is primarily sold at midmarket stores, such as Dillard's and Macy's, and is priced accordingly. In 2012 Simpson became a spokesperson for Weight Watch- ers, whose diet plan she used to lose weight after a pregnancy. She told CBS News that offering clothes in all sizes is a significant component of her business model. "It's very important for me to let every woman feel included," she says. "If I make a shirt, I'm going to make sure that every size is available. Because I have been every size, trust me!" Stars Who Mean Business

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