Zaha Hadid crowned Veuve Clicquot
businesswoman of the year


Zaha Hadid

News: Zaha Hadid was named businesswoman of the year at the Veuve Clicquot awards in London last night.

Judges from champagne house Veuve Clicquot, which was helmed by Madame Clicquot in the early 19th century, commended Hadid's "great zeal as a businesswoman" and her success in growing her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, in a male-dominated industry.

The awards, now in their 41st year, are presented to business leaders who have shown entrepreneurship and financial success as well as a commitment to corporate social responsibility and their role in encouraging other women into the industry.

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."

The Iraqi-born architect pipped other finalists including Dorothy Thompson, the chief executive of Drax power company, and Thea Green, chief executive of cosmetics brand Nails Inc.

Earlier this month in Milan, Hadid launched a bench shaped like a block of ice formed in a glacier and a sofa based on natural rock formations.

Her recent architecture includes an under-construction cultural complex on the edge of a lake in Changsha, China and five boutiques in Seoul and South Korea – see all projects by Zaha Hadid.

  • Congratulations Zaha! You have well and truly shattered the glass ceiling!



  • david

    Yep, business woman. Money money money, not quality. Therefore many of her new buildings are in China.

  • Numa

    What is the point in shattering the mirror? So she is very, very rich. Nice! Now what?

  • Congratulations! Many are jealous because they will never achieve half of her art. It is art. Countries who do not have it in the communities are primitive and uninteresting! Forget Frank Lloyd Wright!

  • MEL

    “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.”

    And again the same complaining. Now she is one of the richest architects, trusting many competitions with the same design all over again (and therefore making others lose) but still complaining about how hard it is for her as she is a woman.

    If many starchitects nowadays are men, it doesn’t mean that it was easy for them to achieve it. And it even less means that it is for every male architect!

    If it was hard for her it’s not (only) because she is a woman, I’m sure that it was a hard and long work for every starchitect to become what they are.

    Okay, in her time it was a male dominated industry, but nowadays in school there are more females than males, so please let’s slow down this kind of complaining, especially coming from someone as successful as Hadid … new female graduates don’t care so much about that and just do their best, and it’s working!

    I just missed an internship because a woman from my school got it instead of me, am I complaining that it’s so hard for men? No, she was probably better, that’s it.

    We will know that this problem will be over and we will stop talking and reading about it.

    • Couldn’t agree more, very well said. There were many more women than men in my school and I just left an internship at a firm where two of the three partners were women and the majority of my colleagues were women. This is becoming more and more common in today’s society where people are judged based on merit and talent over what genitalia you were born with.

      I am not a huge fan of Zaha Hadid, some of her work is visually interesting but I often find it repetitive. I am just tired of seeing all these articles that consist of Zaha complaining that the industry is unfair and how much harder she feels she had to work to get to where she is because she is a woman. Anyone that gets to the level of starchitect has had to work insanely hard, and I while I give her a lot of credit for getting to that level, I don’t feel she deserves extra credit just for being a woman.

  • please

    “Crowned” by the Veuve Clicquot brand? Does this have any relevance really? What next, CocaCola novelist of the year?

  • JayCee

    It is usually quite hard for a man to win Businesswoman of the Year. They could, but it would mean a really tough lifestyle choice.

  • Gareann

    The problem is she was awarded here for being a business woman and not an architect.

    Despite the great aesthetics of the buildings her architects come up with (I personally love it), they’re not so functional, and that’s a shame. When it’s for a museum, whatever, but when it’s for administrative buildings it’s more preoccupying.

  • Moni

    Mel, Zaha was obviously stating a fact: that when she started, the architectural profession was predominantly male. It doesn’t sound like she’s complaining to me, but on the other hand methinks the man doth protest too much and sounds rather bitter!

  • zee

    Haters will always hate. Damn them and go ahead, and continue to win BIG.

    • please

      BIG indeed. Funny how not agreeing makes you a hater.

      • Disagreement is one thing, but not one person so far seems to be able to say “Congratulations Zaha, because of you more people know about our profession, more people are aware of the built environment (whether they agree with the structure or not) and that is an accomplishment worth noting”. And white men dominate most fields.

        Diversity is life. We can be glad without bashing.

  • guillermo vazquez

    El mundo esta cada vez peor y una mujer podria ser la esperanza, pero no es el caso. Moda, Moda, Moda. Se copia asimisma todo el tiempo es el trinfuo del ego, mas de lo mismo, hombres o mujeres. Me gustaria que se atreviera con la plaza taksim, ahora en turquia a ver como lo/la toman.