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Just over twenty years ago, entrepreneur Sara Blakely founded iconic shapewear company Spanx. Throughout the company’s history, Blakely has emphasized empowering women. The Spanx product line itself inspires body confidence in consumers, and a portion of the respective profits are allocated to investing in other women-run businesses. Throughout her run as a CEO, Blakley has made it her mission to uplift and inspire others.
She is now reaping the fruits of her loving labors. Just last week, Blakely announced to her employees that she’s selling her majority share in Spanx to global investment firm Blackstone. The deal values Spanx at over one billion dollars.
In an emotional speech to employees, Blakely thanks all of the women who came before her that helped to make such a feat possible. She also acknowledges how many women haven’t had the opportunity to accomplish all of their wildest dreams, because of socioeconomic gaps in the business culture. According to Blakely, 50% of all entrepreneurs are women, but only 2.3% of all venture capital funding is actually allocated to them.
Despite this harsh reality, Blakely is one of the powerful ladies in business that’s working to pave the way for others with dreams as big as hers. She recognizes that she could not have built the Spanx legacy on her own… As a thank you to her employees for propelling Spanx to the stars, she gifted them each two first class tickets to anywhere in the world, and $10,000 in spending money. (Watch the emotional announcement here, and try not to be too bitter that your own boss isn’t showering you in five figure gifts!)
Sara Blakely is a CEO that doesn’t just preach bettering the world and the lives of others, but actually practices it.
What do you think of Sara Blakely’s gift to her employees? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.