Here’s Proof That Take Your Daughter To Work Day Actually Works

For Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, here are 9 fathers who handed the family business to their daughters, including the Clintons, the Trumps and 7 less gossipy (and more successful) examples.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Thursday’s Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day (besides the fact that it isn’t called Take Your Kid To Work Day): the sons weren’t originally invited. From 1992 until 2002, the program — now a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational foundation — was all about empowering girls to excel in school and beyond. If you think pulling them out of school for a day is an odd way to go about that (the celebration always occurs on the fourth Thursday in April), consider these 9 father-daughter leadership teams and their stories of success and succession.

LA Lakers

Dad: Dr. Jerry Buss, OwnerDaughter: Jeanie Buss, Team President From 1979 until his death in 2013, Dr. Buss built the Lakers into the NBA’s premier franchise, winning 10 titles while grooming Jeanie for front office success. He put Jeanie in charge of business operations while her older brother, Jim, ran basketball operations. Adoring daughter that she is, Jeanie has remained true to her father’s plan by not running Jim out of town for assembling this year’s historically unprecedented dumpster fire of a team.

Johnson Publishing

Dad: John H Johnson Daughter: Linda Johnson Rice Every day was Take Your Daughter To Work Day in the Johnson house. Founded in 1942 by John H Johnson, Johnson Publishing became the largest African American-owned media company in the U.S. while also serving as Linda’s rather sprawling playroom. She officially joined the company at 23; by 29 she was president and one of the youngest publishing executives in the country running iconic magazines Ebony and Jet, plus Fashion Fair Cosmetics. She attended an even bigger inauguration 5 years later — Nelson Mandela’s — which was a fairly hot ticket at the time.

Fidelity InvestmentsDad: Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III, ChairmanDaughter: Abigail Johnson, CEO & President Of Fidelity Investments And Chairman Of Fidelity WorldwideAfter 26 years climbing the ranks, last year “Abby” was finally named her father’s successor as CEO of the company his father started in 1946. The world’s seventh wealthiest women (net worth: $17.3 billion) still follows her dad’s advice: “Always strive to be better. No matter how well you might seem to be doing, your job is never done.” Which is good, since Fidelity has been surpassed by Vanguard Group despite having basically invented the mutual fund industry.

Carlson Companies

Dad: Curtis L. Carlson, Founder Daughter: Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Co-CEO Of Carlson Holdings Granddaughter: Diana Nelson, Board ChairwomanCurtis Carlson enjoyed taking his daughter to work so much he extended the tradition to his granddaughter, who succeeded her mom as Board Chairwoman in 2013. Making it to the third generation is something only about 20 percent of family businesses achieve, although it helps when your portfolio includes Radisson, Country Inns and Suites and TGI Friday’s, and your annual revenues top $4.4 billion.

Ruiz Foods

Dad: Fred Ruiz, FounderDaughter: Kim Ruiz Beck, Chairman Of The BoardFred and his dad, Louis, started their company with $400 and a freezer and stove made of scrap metal, then proceeded to argue with each other relentlessly until 2010, at which point they were the top seller of frozen Mexican food. By that time, daughter Kim was entrenched as Interim President and Interim CEO, and she’s now Board Chairwoman. Fred ensured her transition was easier than his by hiring an outside agent to run the succession, but Kim also had the benefit of early hands-on experience — she was stamping boxes after school at age 6.

Trump Organization

Dad: Donald Trump, Chairman And PresidentDaughter: Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President Of Development And Acquisitions The Donald is worth billions, but he’s best known for farcical presidential aspirations and that god-awful coif. The family legacy should be in better hands with Ivanka, who’s already run a highly successful jewelry line and perfectly summarizes growing up Trump thusly: “I look at my brothers and myself and I’m, like, really proud of the fact that nobody’s, like, totally f—ked-up.”

Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

Dad: Bill Clinton, FounderDaughter: Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair That the $2 billion foundation was renamed to specifically include the former first lady and first daughter tells you a lot about dad’s designs for Chelsea’s future role in the Clinton dynasty — not to mention her current one, where she’s a major foundation decision maker. Chelsea spent her whole life mingling with the world’s most rich and powerful, has degrees from Stanford, Columbia and Oxford, is her mother’s most trusted advisor … Oh, hell, Chelsea 2024 is it?

Newman’s Own

Dad: Paul Newman, Founder Of Newman’s OwnDaughter: Nell Newman, Founder And President Of Newman’s Own Organics Nell actually followed her dad into two family businesses. First, she was a child actor, often under Paul’s direction. Then she launched Newman’s Own Organics as a division of her father’s popular business — but only after convincing him organic food could taste good by baking him an all-natural version of his favorite snack: the pretzel. Organics went independent in 2001 but Nell still pays the Newman’s Own Foundation to use Paul’s name and likeness, because he taught her that nothing comes for free, even when the thing in question is dad’s mug.

Jockey International

Dad: Harry Wolf, Chairman of the Board And CEO (1960-1978) Daughter: Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt, Chairman Of The Board And CEO (1978-2000) Granddaughter: Debra Steigerwaldt Waller, Chairman Of The Board And CEO Of course women would helm a company that invented the first men’s Y-Front brief (also known as that thing your dad paraded around the house in when he should have been wearing pants). In 2001, Steigerwaldt Waller succeeded her mother, who only led the company to command more than 30 percent of the men’s underwear market. It’s like the old saying goes: Inside every man’s pants is a great woman.


Dad: Eugene Schueller, FounderDaughter: Liliane Bettencourt, Board Director Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day wasn’t a thing back in 1957, when Schueller died and Bettencourt became L’Oreal’s principal shareholder at just 35 years old. But this duo makes the list because any time you lose $22 million to Bernie Madoff and come out as one of Forbes’ top 10 richest people (and the second wealthiest woman) in the world with a $41 billion fortune, you’re proof that Give Your Daughter The Whole Damn Family Empire Day is just as good.

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