Michael Scott has officially been usurped as “World’s Best Boss,” because Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spax, surprised her employees with the world’s best gift.
After striking a $1.2 billion deal with a private equity firm, Blakely decided to do good by her employees—like, really good. In a room full of Spanx employees celebrating the big company milestone, she gave a speech that centered around how much she values the people who work for her.
“I really want every employee to celebrate this moment in their own way and create a memory that will last them a lifetime,” she captioned the video. “Cheers to 21 years of magic and many more to come …. ?”
During her speech, the CEO grew emotional talking about the humble beginnings of Spanx, and how no one thought it would become the company that it is today.
“And so, to stand here today and think about what we’ve been able to create and what we’ve been able to do by being authentic and kind and [delivering] amazing products to women. To use very feminine principles in a very masculine space, which is business, leading with intuition and vulnerability…I think it’s a really big moment in time for women.”
At the end of her speech, she teased her employees by spinning a globe, and then dropped a bomb on them they’re sure to never forget: they were getting two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world. And, because you need money if you’re going to embark on the trip of a lifetime, she also gave them $10,000 cash. Every single one of them.
As you can imagine, her employees burst into cheers and tears.
In a very rare, “American dream” type of story, Blakely started the company with $5,000 of her savings and ended up becoming a self-made billionaire.
After a very, very hard 20 months—for women especially—seeing the hard work of female employees can be genuinely valued this way is really something. As of February of this year, nearly three million women had abandoned the workforce.
Though to be fair, it can be argued that the workforce abandoned them first—by not offering paid leave, equal pay, affordable childcare options, or flexible schedules to care for their families during a pandemic.
In Motherly’s 2021 State of Motherhood survey, 92% of mothers believe society doesn’t do a good job of understanding or supporting motherhood.
In Blakely’s video, Spanx employees tearfully and excitedly talk about all the things they want to see and do when they travel across the globe as Blakely looks on with a smile.
“With all my heart I love this brand,” she wrote on Instagram last week. “With all my heart I will continue to love this brand. I will remain a significant shareholder and continue to help the business fulfill its greatest potential, as well as continue to fulfill my greatest passion – elevating women. I’m as excited today for the future of Spanx as I was when I started it 21 years ago.”