Tuesday, June 09, 2009

If the shoe fits


On the wall behind the desk of Andrea Jung, the boss of Avon, a beauty company, hangs a plaque labelled “The Evolution of Leadership”. It displays four footprints: that of an ape, then a barefoot man, then a man’s shoe and finally a high-heeled shoe. It is a symbol both of Avon’s self-proclaimed mission to empower women and of Ms Jung’s own high-heeled ascent to the corner office.

Appropriately enough, Ms Jung first saw the plaque hanging in the office of James Preston, the previous boss of Avon, when she was interviewed for a job at the firm in 1993.

Isn't the high-heel both restrictive and appealing to men? In a word, empowering.

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