Quotes by Gilberte Beaux

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TYPIST TURNED OIL TYCOON She sits on countless boards, has advised French presidential candidates, and is author of a book on Japan. At 66, Gilberte Beaux, chief executive officer of Paris-based Basic Petroleum International Ltd., is one of Europe's most accomplished women managers. She points to two reasons for her success: She had to work and she wanted to make a lot of money. Beaux was just 17 when she entered Parisian banking in 1946. Her father, a businessman who fell on hard times during World War II, had died. She was the eldest child. Although not yet finished with secondary school, she took typing and stenography courses and got a job as a shorthand typist at Seligman, a bank on Boulevard Haussmann. That was just the start. Studying English at night, Beaux pressed her bosses to let her work on the banking side. Three years later, she was named assistant manager of foreign operations. She began studying finance at night and was made head of foreign operations. In 1954, at 25, she became the first woman to graduate with honors from Paris' Technical Institute of Banking and became a top administrator at Seligman. Beaux moved to the Compagnie Financiere de Paris in 1956 and became a director in 1962. Then, in 1969, came a key turning point. Anglo-French financier Sir James Goldsmith snapped her up to head his banking operations and oversee other international ventures. When Goldsmith divested most of his holdings in the 1980s, Beaux bought into Basic Petroleum, a Guatemalan oil producer. In 1988, she became its CEO. Since then, the market value of the NASDAQ-listed company has soared from $12 million to $160 million. Beaux has managed to combine a successful career with family life. Although she traveled, her daughter, now 35, was her top priority when they were together. ``It's hard to drop out for a family if you want to get to the top,'' she says. To her, it's no surprise there are so few female CEOs, since many women still choose family over career. But that's all right, she says. ``Women should be able to do what they want in life...just like men.'' By Linda Bernier in Brussels Business Week Article 4/15/1996 more

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Character is more important than intelligence for success.

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