Shaper: Jacqueline Gold

I didn’t have the greatest of childhoods.

I went to work for Ann Summers as work experience for forty five pounds a week. I was earning less than the tea lady.

I remember going to this Tupperware party in a council flat in South East London full of women giggling, crammed together on sofas. They knew I worked at Ann Summers and they said to me, we would like to be able to buy sexy underwear. This was thirty three years ago.

Ann Summers played a huge part in the whole sexual revolution of the last thirty years.

I made the decision at the beginning that I wanted this to be for women only which is probably one of the best decisions I ever made.

I remember one board member standing up and saying, look, you know this isn’t going to work; women aren’t even interested in sex.

I’ve been arrested, I’ve had a bullet through the post and I’ve taken the Government to court. All of these things most business people wouldn’t have to endure and why? All because I wanted to empower women in the bedroom.

I think that’s what makes me a successful entrepreneur, having that desire to get up in the morning, the passion about my business, facing new challenges and seeing what you can do with them.

I have a four and a half year old daughter and the best gift I could give her would be her self-esteem.  

There are certain industries where business leaders are not recognising the female talent in front of them.

I think that naming and shaming would be appropriate for companies that don’t give equal pay where men and women are doing exactly the same job.

I have definitely empowered women in the bedroom. I would like to empower women in the Boardroom next.

About Jacqueline Gold