Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon: “How is it possible that I was the only woman on the board?”

TamaraMellon

Tamara Mellon is the woman behind one of the most lauded luxury women’s shoe labels, Jimmy Choo. She launched the brand with Jimmy back in 1996, and since then its products have been fashioned by some of the world’s most famous feet.

Now at the helm of her own shoe line, Tamara sat with CNN Money’s Poppy Harlow for a candid chat about the importance of equal pay and the hurdles she encountered leading the Jimmy Choo empire.

She admitted: ”When I started out my career, I didn’t trust myself enough, I didn’t value myself enough, and that kind of resulted in not being paid what I should have and decisions in the business not being right because I didn’t always speak up.”

Despite the success of three private equity deals and four corporate sales she says she still had to put up a fight to negotiate a higher salary. “I didn’t get anywhere through all the private equity deals, and particularly at the last sale to a strategic I gave them a lot of proof of what was fair market for someone at my level in the business. I gave them my competitor’s compensation and I was probably 70% below what my competitors [made].”

With her own shoe line Tamara is doing things differently with a female CEO and largely women-led team. “How is it possible that I was the only woman on the board of something that is selling the most feminine product to women?,” she says of her time at Jimmy Choo.

Read more of what she had to say here.

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