Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Avon CEO Andrea Jung

Homa Khaleeli

The Guardian, March 7, 2011

Article History

Andrea Jung

11 years as chief executive of Avon make Jung the longest serving female head of a Fortune 500 company

Jung, 51, takes the lipstick index to heart – the idea that in a recession women spend more, not less, on small luxuries such as Avon’s makeup. When the recession bit in 2009, she went on a recruiting drive for new door-to-door representatives, which turned out, she says, to be “the most cost-effective campaign we’ve done”.

It’s ideas such as this that have kept her at the top for 11 years – as the longest-serving female CEO of a Fortune 500 company – and the one who turned Avon’s fortunes around. But she also stands out because the company not only relies on women for its business, branding itself as “the company for women”, but because Jung insists Avon should “empower women”. If the idea of a multinational makeup corporation making such claims makes you feel queasy, it’s easier to swallow once you remember that not only are almost all of its reps women, but, according to the Financial Times, the company is one of the most diverse of the world’s biggest companies. “Women account for roughly half of each of the top two layers of managers, and four of the nine members of its external board,” the paper says.

Then there is the Avon Foundation, which is dedicated to women’s causes and supports breast cancer research as well as speaking out against domestic violence.


  1. Great story on Andrea Jung. I’m an Avon Independent Representative part-time; she’s an inspiration!

  2. One has to take one`s hat of for woman of this stature, some years ago, this would not have been possible. Woman where not able to work let alone be a head or chief of a company.

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