Phenomenal Women – Iman

Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid or Iman as she is better known is a world-renowned supermodel and entrepreneur.  Born in Somalia to a relatively wealthy family.  Well educated, Iman decided to attend University to study political science, and it is while she was there that she was discovered and embarked on her modeling career.  Her striking features soon elevated her to the title of supermodel.

After 14 years as a model, Iman decided to create her own brand of cosmetics focusing on shades and tones appropriate for darker skin which in those days were more challenging to find.  Exploiting a gap in the market, she is now a successful businesswoman.

Also known for her marriage to David Bowie, Iman is a devoted mother and also pursues philanthropic activities including ambassadorships and award wins.  When David Bowie died in 2016, she paid tribute to him saying

“the struggle is real, but so is God.”

Advertisements

Phenomenal Women – Indra Nooyi

Our latest profile is of another formidable businesswoman.  Indra Nooyi is the Chief Executive of PepsiCo.  A worldwide brand and household name, PepsiCo is globally one of the biggest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies and at its helm is a woman.  A passionate speaker and innovative leader she is trying to push boundaries for the company while retaining its impressive reputation and market share.

Born in India where opportunities for women to be business leaders is limited Indra was always a high achiever, focusing on the sciences in her early education then moving on to business and management.  Most notable for us at WokHQ was an article that was an interview that she did with Huffington post talking about the need for women to work together and help each other more.  She recounts an example to help make her point:

“Many times we’re in a presentation and the guy is giving a presentation, not going so well, so we call a break.  They go to the men’s room. “Hey Bill, that was awful, your presentation.  Fix it, man.  Don’t gesture so much”. Little fist bump, they come back, and Bill’s doing fine.”

Woman does a terrible job and you walk into the women’s room and you go, ‘you know Mary, that was terrible, what were you doing?’ ‘God she’s so bitchy’. No! I’m trying to give you constructive feedback. So what we do is, we assume feedback from women mean something is wrong, if the same feedback came from men, we’d accept it. Or worse still, we don’t give the feedback the way we should.

Even though we know they’re not doing well because we go, ‘good she’s struggling, I can take that position’. I think we have to change our whole approach to supporting each other, taking advice from each other, seeking it out. One thing I feel very badly about is all my mentors in my life have been male. But then I sit back and say maybe I came into the work force at a different time. Let’s figure out how we can help each other way more than we are today.”

Phenomenal Women – Mellody Hobson

Everyone at WoK HQ was excited to share this profile because we know that depending on the industry you work in you may have missed her.  Mellody Hobson is a formidable American businesswoman.  Her accomplishments include being the President of a large investment company  (Ariel Investments)as well as being Chair of the Board of the DreamWorks Animation company.  Just one of these jobs would be enough for one person, but the Mellody takes them both in her stride.

Her story is all the more important and poignant because she joined Ariel as an intern proving that it is possible to learn and rise through the ranks.  She also serves on various boards and gives her time to raise awareness about the issues that are important to her in a range of ways including fronting a television show about money management in 2009.

The final thing we will say about Mellody, because it is interesting, but by no means, an achievement or an accolade, is that she is also Mrs. George Lucas!