Jacqueline Gold CBE is Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox and is renowned for managing a business run by women, for women.
Jacqueline began her career at 21 when she started working for her father’s company, Ann Summers. As she learnt more about the Ann Summers of the 1970’s she saw the potential to change the focus of the business and create a business and brand which focused on women and would allow women to browse and shop for lingerie and sex toys in a safe, female-friendly environment.
After attending an at home Tupperware party, Jacqueline saw the potential to use a similar concept to introduce sex toys and lingerie to women in the home environment. She took the concept of at home parties and developed the idea of Ann Summers Party Plan. With no formal business training, she presented her concept to the all-male board. After initially meeting resistance, Jacqueline demonstrated how the party plan concept was a viable one and was eventually given a small initial investment to launch the concept.
Jacqueline’s belief in the potential for party plan was proven almost instantly, with hundreds of women keen to become party organisers and even more wanting to attend the party’s. The success of party plan was the first stage in the development of the Ann Summers brand that we know today, changing the sex lives of women (and men) in the UK forever. In 1993 she was appointed Chief Executive of Ann Summers, and shortly after launched the first Ann Summers store on the UK high street, forever changing the face of retail and now being known as the woman who brought sex to the British High Street. In recognition of Jacqueline’s significant achievements during her 35-year career, she was awarded a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to Entrepreneurship, Women in Business and Social Enterprise.
Jacqueline founded WOW Championing Working Women, an organisation that represents the interests of women in the UK who work. With a clear objective to use WOW to give a voice to women who work, empower these women and to celebrate their successes, Jacqueline’s vision is that together women across the UK can truly influence and achieve change that allows all women who want to, the opportunity to work.