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Spanx CEO, Sara Blakely, Surprised Employees with an Unforgettable Gift

There has been an Instagram post circulating around social media of Spanx CEO Sara Blakely. In the video, Blakely looks back over the years to when she first started. She was laughed at for her dreams, but nonetheless she believed in herself. She attributes her drive to four skills: authenticity, kindness, delivering amazing products and leading with intuition. She points out the hardships she and other female entrepreneurs have to endure due to many disparities in the industry. This all led to the heart of the video, which was made to celebrate $1.2 billion deal made by Blackstone, an investment firm, buying a majority stake in Spanx. To reward her 750 employees, Sara Blakely decided to gift them all two first class tickets to anywhere in the world along with $10,000 to be used in any other travel expenses. It is most definitely a great day to be a Spanx employee. A boss who is able to celebrate the company’s wins along with its employees is certainly someone who recognizes and values the hard work that each employee contributes to the company and its goals.

If you don’t know what Spanx is, it’s a brand of shapewear that is designed by women for women and focuses on comfort and allows women to “look as good as you feel.” And the woman who runs the entire show is Sara Blakely. You read that right. This woman was able to build a company from the ground up with all odds against her and make an estimated $1.2 billion deal. From knocking door to door selling fax machines to becoming a billionaire through the creation of her own company and giving back to those who have helped her reach her success, 

Sara Blakely is truly an inspiration. 

According to her LinkedIn, Sara Blakely started in 2000 with only $5,000, but she was able to create her empire. This proves that you really don’t need a lot of resources, although they’re helpful if available, to be successful. Many people will never pursue their dreams in fear of failure or from making excuses that they could never reach their goals due to their current circumstances. Sara Blakely shows that you can! She dedicated her Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation “to empower women through education, entrepreneurship and the arts” and “believes that [the] world will be a better place when the feminine and masculine energy on the planet are more in balance.” She points out an important disparity in the business world and entrepreneurs in general. Not only would closing the gender gap benefit women, but it helps the entire nation. This Forbes article cited a McKinsey & Company’s Global Institute report that found “narrowing the gender gap could add between $12 trillion and $28 trillion to the global GDP.” So, really, it would be in everyone’s favor to focus on closing the gender gap. One example of the gender gap is the lack of diversity in higher positions at companies, such as managerial positions and corporate boards. As noted in Forbes, women aren’t promoted to these positions and therefore are stuck in lower level positions due to discrimination and biased opinions. This is just one of many different disparities facing women in the workforce that stop us from succeeding and enjoying the same benefits as men, which is exactly what Sara Blakely has highlighted. 

Spanx CEO, mother of four and female activist, Sara Blakely, has inspired me and hopefully many other women to reach for your wildest dreams. She shows us that anything is possible so long as we stay determined and continue to believe in ourselves. Turning $5,000 into $1.2 billion sounds impossible, but Blakely has shown us that it is possible. Not only has she displayed her drive and persistence but also her compassion and kindness as she shares her success with her employees. 

Claudia is a third year Applied Physiology and Kinesiology major at the University of Florida. She's from Boca Raton, FL, but is a proud latina with roots in Mexico. She is a passionate woman looking to use her voice to inform readers on a wide range of topics from social disparities to personal college experiences from the perspective of a woman. When she isn't in class or volunteering, you can probably find her rollerblading somewhere outside or eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream while binge watching Friends for the 100th time. With her experience in writing for Her Campus UFL, Claudia hopes to one day bring this skill into her dream career as a physician to spread awareness about health disparities she encounters in the clinic.
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