Jacqueline Gold: 'Now I want to empower women in the boardroom'

YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN: The Ann Summers boss has been poisoned, arrested and sent a bullet in the post, but nothing matches the pain of losing her son.

by Kate Bassett

School didn’t suit me. I couldn’t wait to get a job and be financially independent. Back then, women weren’t encouraged to be ambitious. I was mad about design so I figured I’d be a window dresser.

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak. At 13, I was designing crossword puzzles and selling them to a publisher for 50p each. My father had left, my stepfather sexually abused me and my mother had her head stuck in the sand. I could either crawl into a corner or I could create things and earn money.

I started at Ann Summers as an intern when I was 21. When I proposed my party idea to the all-male board, one man said: ‘This isn’t going to work. Women aren’t interested in sex.’ That says more about his sex life than my idea. Our forecasted turnover for this year is more than £140m.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121

Register

FREE

  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Become a subscriber

From £66 a quarter

  • Full access to managementtoday.co.uk
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine
  • Plus lots more, including our State of the Industry Report.

Choose a Package