MARCIA KILGORE

1. Why is she a hero?

Marcia, the serial entrepreneaur and brains behind Bliss, Soap & Glory, FitFlop, Soaper Duper and now Beauty Pie, doesn’t see getting a NO as a NO, but rather a NOT YET. Her slight delusional optimism sets her apart, as does her commitment to transparency, curiosity and determination to make change. Her brand, Beauty Pie, respects the intelligence and independent mindedness of its members like no other subscription service, and as far as I’m concerned her no-bullshit beauty products are some of the best on the market. There should be no guilt in getting gorgeous, and thanks to Marcia that’s now a reality for women.

2. If you could beg, borrow or steal one of her traits, what would it be?

Aside from her fearlessness, banging business ideas and ability to just go for it, I would steal her motto: “don’t just sit there waiting for someone to choose you. Choose yourself”.

3. What are you excited to see her do next?

Within the context of Beauty Pie, I can’t wait for her to launch a permanent physical retail space. For me it’s important to try makeup before you buy, so I’m really looking forward to being able to go in store and match her products to my skin tone. I’m also excited to see her take the brand into the realm of vitamins; I’m continually perplexed by all the obscure products and false promises on the market, but I know Marcia will help me make sense of it!

By Amber Williams

NGUYEN THI PHUONG THAO

1. Why is she a hero?

The aviation industry is a particularly male dominated business and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is the first and only woman to have started and run her own commercial airline business, Vietjet Aviation. She had amazing vision to create Vietnam’s first budget airline, and that’s just what she did. But she didn’t just stop there; she took Vietjet public in 2017 making her Vietnam’s first self-made female billionaire in the same year.

2. If you could beg, borrow or steal one of her traits, what would it be?

It takes a lot of bold ambition to be the ‘first’ of anything, so if I had to choose that would be one of the traits I’d love to borrow.

3. What are you excited to see her do next?

There are definitely plans to expand the business and I’m looking forward to seeing if it comes to the UK! If it does, will they stick with VietJet or choose to rebrand in order to compete with the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet? Let’s wait and see.

By Choekey Frasi

DAME HELENA MORRISSEY

1. Why is she a hero?

A superwoman in the City and out, Dame Helena Morrissey is a powerhouse of a woman who has achieved an extremely successful career in finance whilst raising 9 children and advocating for gender and pay equality in finance. Helena is the founder of The 30% Club, a campaign group taking action to increase gender diversity in senior teams and boards in FTSE 100 Companies and beyond, now present in 14 countries worldwide. Helena’s ambition to continue to strive for greater diversity within the City is admirable, and she’s just left her position as head of Legal & General Personal Investment to pursue other interests, such as running for Governor of the Bank of England. She’s certainly achieved a lot in her life, but she’s not done yet.

“I see a changing Britain and have a lot of ideas and other things that I want to achieve.”

2. If you could beg, borrow or steal one of her traits, what would it be?

Her motto: “Leap before you look”.

3. What are you excited to see her do next?

I’d like to see Helena advance her diversity and equality agendas beyond the world of financial boards, and influence consumers. During Helena’s time as head of PI and L&G, we worked with L&G PI to refresh their customer segmentation in order to support their new strategy, helping them expand their personal investment customer base beyond traditional investors and boldly acquire a new generation of typically under-represented investors. As Helena moves to her next venture, I’d love to see her continue to use her influence to make the personal financial landscape more accessible for women, young people and other under-represented groups!

By Lucy Morgan-Hobbs

Diana Archer Mills

1. Why is she a hero?

I'm going to be bold: to me, Les Mills is the greatest fitness brand in the world. From a garage gym in Auckland that pioneered many of the work out styles we see in every modern gym and fitness plan, it now boasts a Tribe of fitness instructors across the globe who take the brand's work outs to local studios, as well as a booming digital in-gym channel and in home 'On Demand' offering. Diana Archer Mills, daughter of the founders, is now Creative Director, and embodies the brand. She is a key driver of its success from a business perspective, too. While many are quick to say that her most significant contribution to the business has been her pregnancy and post-pregnancy workout plan innovations, this is just the tip of the iceberg. She is responsible for the sharp focus on fostering a sense of community across the globe, which is the difference between a poorly executed, money grabbing franchise and a brand that is true stamp of quality and inspiration to its students and instructors, wherever they are. Mills continues to lead classes on the digital channel, bringing to life the New Zealand approach to fitness: it's about feeling amazing both in and outside the studio.

2. If you could beg, borrow or steal one of her traits, what would it be?

 Except for her abs? I would love to steal Mills' ability to inspire and engage the groups of people she meets. Not only does this make her exercise classes feel more like a party than a workout, it has also created a company whose employees are passionate, determined and ambitious, whether they are in head office in New Zealand or teaching a BodyPump class in Sheffield on a Saturday morning. That’s the key to success.

3. What are you excited to see her do next?

The Les Mills brand’s secret is that since that garage gym opened in 1968, it has followed every twist and turn of the fitness industry and has kept its core strength and brand proposition alive and kicking throughout. Diana Mills has cemented and listened to the Tribe, and developed plans and made business decisions that fit its needs. So far, Les Mills has protected its position as boutique fitness studios boom, and I personally still look to see if a gym offers Les Mills classes before I sign up. How will Mills and the team continue to defend this position, and ensure that Diana Archer Mills' children will see the family business thrive for another generation?

By Lucinda Toole

Categories: Travel & Lifestyle

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