Born in 1964 to an Italian mother and British father, Karren was introduced to football from an early age as the family home, in Edmonton, was located close to the Tottenham Hotspur football grounds. Her acceptance into the sixth form at Aldenham School, which was largely a boys’ school, introduced her to making it in a man’s world while also sealing her love of football.
Karren’s introduction to the working world was not in the football industry but rather at Saatchi & Saatchi, the world-renowned advertising agency, where Karren was an account executive. Her position called for encouraging clients to spend money on their advertising needs, and it was this position which brought her face-to-face with David Sullivan, who would prove to play a major role in seeing, first-hand, Karren Brady rise to the top. After persuading Sullivan to spend £2,000,000 on six months of advertising, she was offered a job on his team and at the age of 20 Brady became a company director.
While in Sullivan’s employ, Brady saw an opportunity and she persuaded Sullivan to buy Birmingham City F.C and allow her to run it. She was 23 years old and already making headway in what is known as primarily man’s world while others her age were still trying to find direction. Years later and still in the directors seat, but not just of Birmingham City F.C, Karren Brady is on the board for Sport England and in 2010 she joined Sir Philip Green on the board of Arcadia, which owns Topshop amongst several other clothing chains.
Karren Brady has found the time to also do television work and in 2008 she starred as a guest interviewer on The Apprentice and then again in 2010. She also made an appearance for Comic Relief in which her team won £1,000,000 for comic relief. This is one superhuman woman who seems to succeed in anything she touches or puts her mind to.
Married to Canadian footballer Paul Peschisolido, Karren has two children and in keeping with her workaholic persona, she was back at work six weeks after giving birth to her second child. It would seem that nothing could slow her down, until she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal cerebral aneurism. Brady’s emergency brain surgery was successful and it’s said that within 24 hours of surgery she was back to answering emails. After one month Karren Brady was recovered and back at the office.
Voted the 98th sexiest woman in the world by FHM, Business Woman of the Year for 2007 and listed amongst the most powerful women in Britain, Karren Brady is a powerhouse of intelligence, drive, ambition. Between writing her column, having children, motivating the masses, television appearances and running sports clubs, she found time to collect her 2011 Most Inspirational Women award, which she richly deserved. Does she sleep, at all?
Vida Denning started her writing career after leaving the corporate world of office space in London and serviced offices Leeds. Her passion lies in writing on a wide variety of topics from the comfort of her home.
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