Karren Brady is one of the UK’s Leading Business Women and Vice Chairman at West Ham United FC.
Karren began her career at LBC when she was 18 years old and swiftly moved onto Saatchi & Saatchi as junior Account Handler. She joined Sports Newspapers Ltd in 1988 and became Director within a year.
Karren is now known as the first woman in football. She became MD of Birmingham City at the age of 23, a post which she held for 16 years during a time of great change. During that time she turned the Club’s fortunes around. She took over Birmingham City when it was in administration, and in her first year at the helm, the Club recorded a financial trading profit. In 1996 the Club made an overall profit for the first time and by the time it was launched on the stock market, it was valued at £25m. The average gate numbers increased from 6,000 to a sell-out of over thirty thousand, and in 2009 her business was valued at over £80million.
Karren has added The Mothercare Foundation, Channel 4 and Sport England to her portfolio of directorships. She has also written four books, one a factual account of her first season at Birmingham City, Brady plays the Blues, two novels United and Trophy Wives and her latest book Playing to Win is about successful women in business. She is a regular columnist in The Sun, The Guardian and Birmingham Evening Mail.
Karren has attracted much media attention. She has worked with Alan Sugar on the series of the BBC TV Show The Apprenticeand was the subject of an hour long documentary Inside Story – The Real Life Manageress shown on BBC1. She has also hosted her own TV show, Brady Bunch and presented both Loose Women and Live Talk on ITV, and also presented Central Weekend Live.
She is a judge of the Cosmopolitan Women of Achievement Awards and the Sports Industry Awards. She is on the business Board of Scope, and the Ambassador for Birmingham Women’s Aid.
She is an honoree Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing.
In 2004 and again in 2006 she attended The Queen’s lunch for Women Achievers and Business Leaders. She was acknowledged as one of the most influential women in Britain by the Daily Mail and voted as one of Britain’s Most Inspirational Women by Good Housekeeping magazine. In November 2006 she won the Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year, in the category of Women Who Have Changed the World.
In March 2006 she was chosen as the team leader on BBC1’s The Apprentice, for Comic Relief, where she lead her team (Trinny Woodall, Jo Brand, Cheryl Cole and Maureen Lipman) to a resounding victory over the boys team (Alistair Campbell, Piers Morgan, Rupert Everett, Danny Baker and Ross Kemp) raising over £750k, with the two teams together raising £1million for charity.
In December 2007 Karren was a guest on Desert Island Discs and February 2008 saw the launch of Karren Brady’s ‘Today’s Business Woman’ magazine. In October 2007 Karren was voted Business Woman of the Year and in November 2008 she was named as one of the top leadership role models in a national poll. This recognition was quickly followed in December 2008 when she was presented with the coveted Spirit of Everywoman Award at the NatWest Everywoman Awards, acknowledging her outstanding achievements in changing the landscape for women in business.
During January 2009, Karren presented a series of features for ITV1’s GMTV called Just the Job, helping people back into work, and giving advice about looking for and retaining your job in this uncertain economic climate.
November 2010 saw Karren listed in the business category of The Sunday Telegraph’s ‘100 Most Powerful Women in Britain’, whilst she was also included in the Evening Standard’s list of ‘London’s 1000 Most Influential People 2010’.
Karren’s experience and knowledge of leadership, motivation, team-building and change through her career have made her an ideal speaker for any organisation looking to improve their performance and bottom line. She has worked with
major corporate clients
including Sony Ericsson, Barclays, Boots, DTi, Kraft, Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York, IBM, KPMG and Vodafone to name but a few. Tough, ambitious, focused with a terrific sense of humour her experiences as a woman in a male dominated business has meant Karren has a unique focus on the lighter issues of life.