3 Truly Remarkable Female Success Stories

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GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.

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In today’s column, we’re celebrating women who have broken boundaries, created empires and achieved incredible success.

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Cathy Hughes

Cathy Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Urban One, formerly known as Radio One, the largest African-American-owned and operated broadcast company in the U.S. She had her son when she was 16 and was divorced and raising him on her own by the time she achieved mogul status. Hughes is the first woman to own a radio station ranked No. 1 in any major market and the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded company.

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Hughes has said that becoming a mother is what inspired her to become an entrepreneur: “Having that baby forced me to put someone else ahead of my own selfish desires,” she told the Huffington Post. “One day, he had a fever and my employer said, ‘If you walk out that door, don’t come back.’ That’s when I decided I needed to be in control of my professional environment so I could be there for my child.”

Read: Cultivating Future Female Leaders: How To Elevate Other Women in the Workplace

Joy Mangano

Joy Mangano’s success story was the inspiration for the David O’ Russell film “Joy.” The single mom of three, entrepreneur and “Queen of QVC” is best known for inventing the Miracle Mop, but she holds more than 100 patents, Vanity Fair reported. Among her other inventions are Huggable Hangers, which is the best-selling product in HSN history.

At the time Mangano invented the Miracle Mop, she was working as an airline reservations manager and waitress and was struggling to make ends meet. After launching her career at QVC, Mangano founded the company Ingenious Designs LLC and eventually sold it to HSN in 1999. She was the face of the network for nearly two decades, stepping down from her TV sales role in 2018, E! News reported. Since then, she’s launched the company CleanBoss and is the executive producer of the upcoming competition series “America’s Big Deal.” Mangano now has a net worth of $70 million, Celebrity Net Worth reported.

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Jessica Simpson

You may know Jessica Simpson best as a singer or reality star, but you may not know that she’s been able to parlay her fame into a brand empire. The Jessica Simpson Collection comprises over 30 product categories and brings in about $1 billion a year at retail, Forbes reported.

“I don’t believe any dream is too big,” Simpson told WWD of her entrepreneurial success. “There are always more dreams to have and I feel that if you look at life that way, nothing will ever seem like a failure. At least you tried. I make all the decisions. I am passionate about my brand. I really believe in it.”

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Vince Camuto bought the master license for Jessica Simpson in 2005 for $15 million, and in 2017, Sequential Brands bought a 62.5% stake in the company for $117 million, New York Post reported. Simpson currently holds a minority stake in the brand, but as of Sept. 24, the former pop star was nearing a deal to buy Sequential’s stake back, Reuters reported. Simpson’s entrepreneurial pursuits have helped her achieve a net worth of $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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Last updated: Sept. 29, 2021

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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