Every year MT puts together a list of '35 Women Under 35' - a roll-call of some of the UK's most talented and inspiring young businesswomen.
As always, the class of 2009 are a remarkably accomplished bunch. Drawn from a diverse range of industries - advertising, consultancy, cosmetics, law, banking, retail, engineering, property, fashion etc - they're flourishing despite the recession. In fact, if anything the prevailing gloom seems to have made this year's crop even more determined to make a splash. 'The current climate gives us all the more reason to celebrate their exceptional success,' says MT editor Matthew Gwyther. 'If you can make it now, you can make it any time'.
Every year the list throws up a few talking points, and the 2009 vintage is no exception. The list includes our youngest-ever entrant, 19-year-old inventor Ruth Amos, who's taking three years out before university to build her StairSteady business (originally a GCSE coursework project). Two-thirds studied traditionally 'male' academic subjects, like science, law, business and economics - while a third went to university at Oxford, Cambridge or the LSE. And there are no fewer than 11 entrepreneurs, showing that innovation remains alive and well.
One notable first for 2009 is that four of this year's crop are on maternity leave. Alarmingly, the Equality and Human Rights Commission reckons that 30,000 women a year illegally lose their jobs because of pregnancy, so we're keen to draw attention to the raw deal young mothers can get in the workplace. Motherhood shouldn't be a barrier to success, as the example of our cover star Savannah Miller proves. The 30-year-old, who has two young children and a teenage stepson to manage as well as her fashion business Twenty8Twelve (set up with her film-star sister Sienna), says: 'It's extremely challenging juggling all that stuff, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Having a family gives me a determination to succeed.'
So why no men? The question comes up every year, and our answer's always the same: they don't need a list. We reckon that there's still a need to trumpet the achievements of the UK's top-performing young businesswomen - and until that changes, we'll keep doing the list...
Check out a PDF of MT's '35 Women Under 35 2009' feature, including biographies of all 35 women, online now. (Or text-only HERE). You can also check out our previous lists HERE.