Women under 35: Welcome Generation Y

Confident, passionate and in control, MT's '35 Women Under 35' for 2008 are blowing a fresh breeze through British business. Although active in all areas of life, from fashion to computer gaming, they want to do it their own way. Many of them take time out to test their skills in challenging sports - and to indulge the Carrie Bradshaw within. Emma de Vita reports.

This year's list of female high-flyers belongs to the young. The average age of the 35 women featured on these pages is just 31. This includes inventor Tanya Budd, who at 20 is the youngest woman to be included in MT's '35 Women Under 35' list since its inception in 2001. Then there's cover star Emma Reynolds, co-founder of e3unlimited, who is 24; and Lamorna Trahair, another entrepreneur, a mere 23.

Generation Y has come of age, and its impact on the world of work cannot be underestimated. These women bring with them a confidence, a passion and an unconventional approach to their career that is blowing a fresh wind through boardrooms. It's no coincidence that Reynolds has 'carpe diem' tattooed across her foot. This generation grabs each day and wrings the most out of it. It's all about enjoying the moment.

It's about loving what you do, too. If there's one thing that binds all the women on MT's 2008 list, it's the compelling passion they have for their work. 'I absolutely fell in love with retailing,' says Alex Holt, category manager for beauty at Tesco, who also features on our cover. 'I've always wanted to do something that I really enjoy and that I have a passion for, and as long as I'm doing that, I love it.' It's a feeling echoed by MT's other cover stars.

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