Sara Blakely

Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

There's been a lot of discussion recently about disruptors within the retail industry. During yesterday's midmorning keynote at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of the hosiery company Spanx, shared how her mistakes helped her become the world's youngest self-made billionaire.

According to a Forbes article titled "Why Aren't There More Powerful Women In Retail?," author Laura Heller questions why there were only a handful of women in the retail industry named to the publication's 2013 "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list, which ranks the most powerful women by dollars, media presence and impact.

On Forbes’ The World's Most Powerful Women list, there are but a handful who hail from the retail industry, the largest segment of the U.S. economy. Why aren't there more powerful women in retail? The National Retail Federation congratulates seven women on the list, although two, Spanx founder Sara Blakely (No. 90), and Tory Burch (No. 69), are primarily apparel designers that happen to have a foothold in retail.

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