Zaha Hadid has been announced as the winner of the 41st Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award at a ceremony in London on Monday. Now in its 41st year, the Veuve Clicquot Award was set up by the Champagne house to recognize the work of successful businesswomen worldwide, who embody their spirit of Madame Clicquot.
Madame Clicquot was a 19th Century businesswomen who, after being widowed at the age of 27, took the reigns of her husband's Champagne businessa became one of the first women to lead a male-dominated company. The company describes her as a women who was 'proud and strong-willed' who demanded "only one quality, the finest." The award appraises the nominees under the headings of entrepreneurship, financial success, corporate social responsibility and whether or not they are seen as a role model to others.
In awarding Dame Zaha the prize, the committee was seeks to draw attention to her international success as a businesswomen, architect, academic and philanthropist. As the head of Zaha Hadid Architects, she has grown the firm into one of the most instantly recognizable in the world, earning landmark commissions such as Rome's MAXXI museum and London's Olympic Aquatics Centre.
Speaking after accepting the award Hadid said, "It's hard to believe, but it's still difficult for women to break the business barrier. Through perseverance and hard work, I've been able to do so, but it's been a long struggle. When I started my career in architecture it was very much a male dominated industry, but in recent years I've seen a growing number of talented female architects join the profession and succeed."
At this stage, Hadid could justify investing in a larger trophy cabinet. In the course of her long and colorful career, Hadid has twice been awarded the Stirling Prize, as well as becoming the first female recipient of the Pritzker Prize, the British Government have awarded her a CBE in 2002, followed by a DBE in 2012, more recently she was named 'Woman of the Year' by Glamour Magazine and recieved the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership. By adding this latest award, Hadid is in good company, as previous recipeints include, L.K. Bennett founder Linda Bennett, accessories designer Anya Hindmarch and The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick.