The 2010 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards Winners Announced
09/25/2010

2010 everywoman, the UK’s largest network for women in business has revealed the winners of The 2010 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards. These women are strong role models who highlight the opportunities available to women in retail through their spectacular achievements.

Online PR News – 25-September-2010 – – Everywoman, the UK’s largest network for women in business has revealed the winners of The 2010 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards. These women are strong role models who highlight the opportunities available to women in retail through their spectacular achievements.

Jayne Cartwright, Head of Retail for Save the Children UK, from Manchester is the winner of The Specsavers Woman of the Year Award.

Emma Harris, Head of Food Business Development for ASDA Stores Ltd, from Wakefield is the winner of the Hidden Talent of the Year Award category, sponsored by ASDA.

Lauren Westwood, Managing Director of Westwood Rocks, from Guildford is the winner of the Star of the Future Award category, sponsored by Royal Mail.

Liz Bell, HR Director for B&Q PLC, from Woking is the winner of the Leader of the Year Award category, sponsored by Pentland.

Kate Watkin, Director of Lebeado from Northampton, is the winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award category, sponsored by Santander Corporate Banking.

Fiona Briault, Head of Central Operations (George) for ASDA Stores Ltd, from Stamford is the winner of the Inspiration of the Year Award category, sponsored by MasterCard Worldwide.

Wendy O’ Bank, General Store Manager for ASDA, Swanley, from Essex is the winner of the Store Manager of the Year Award category, sponsored by Skillsmart Retail.

Anna Bance, Founder of Girl Meets Dress, from St. Albans is the winner of the Innovator of the Year Award category, sponsored by Morrisons.

The UK retail industry employs over 2.8 million people, which equates to 11% of the total UK workforce*. Although 60% of employees in retail are women, there are very few females in senior management positions, with less than 5% female CEOs in retail companies and only 8% of purchasing decisions within these organisations being made by women**. This situation has not changed over the past decade, which indicates the urgent need for action to remedy this situation by identifying positive role models to inspire other women.

The Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards were established to help readdress the gender balance in management roles within retail by highlighting role models and their various accomplishments, many of which would otherwise go unnoticed. These are encapsulated in the differing award categories which included; ‘Star of the Future’ for a young woman striding ahead in her career, ‘Innovator of the Year’, ‘Hidden Talent of the Year’ and ‘Leader of the Year’; an award for a woman heading a team, department or business successfully. In addition the overall ‘Specsavers Woman of the Year Award’ was presented to an inspirational female whose vision and success is exemplar to all within the industry.

Maxine Benson, MBE, Co-founder and Director of everywoman remarks, “With the UK coming out of recession, it is important to champion the women that possess the skills necessary to ensure organisations can continue to thrive. Through highlighting the female stars in the sector, these awards prove to other women that retail is a viable and rewarding career option. These are really inspirational women and we want to encourage more females to consider careers in retail.”

The panel of judges involves a select group of women who are committed to increasing the number of women working in management roles within retail. Judges included Rose Foster, Managing Director of Hed Kandi Fashion; Kim Morton, Chair of the Fashion Retail Academy; Carrie Rubin, Director of Pentland Group; Julia Reynolds, CEO of Figleaves.com; Karen Barter, Founder of Women in Retail; Karen Hubbard, Operations Director, Supermarkets, ASDA and Sue Shipley, Partner & Head of Retail Practice at Odgers Berndston.
Dame Mary Perkins, Founder of Specsavers says, “There are some excellent opportunities for women in the retail industry. Although there are not as many women in senior positions as there should be, there are many good prospects. At Specsavers, many of our stores are owned by female opticians who recognise the importance of excellent customer service and high retail standards. I congratulate all the winners in this year’s awards – to come this far shows commitment, resourcefulness and true retail flair – each is a shining example to all women in business.”

ENDS
Notes to editors:
Winners are available for interview, in order to arrange and for further information or images, please contact Natasha Williamson or Emma Jarman at LUCHFORD APM on 0207 631 1000 or email natasha.williamson@luchfordapm.com or emma.jarman@luchfordapm.com

About everywoman
Founded in September 1999 by Karen Gill and Maxine Benson, everywoman is an organisation dedicated to the empowerment, inspiration and support of women in business in the UK. With 40,000 members and growing it is the UK's largest female business community - the online and offline network is a hive of activity, contact-building and business debate. The events, training and awards programmes are designed to educate, inspire and support both those women who have already started their business journey and those who have yet to set off. Its ambition is to become the world’s largest and most influential female business network, inspiring generations of businesswomen and championing their cause, talents and prospects on a global scale. Karen and Maxine were both awarded the MBE in January 2009 for services to women’s enterprise. For more information, please visit: www.everywoman.com
About Specsavers
Specsavers Opticians was founded in the spare bedroom of the Guernsey home of optometrists Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. Specsavers has more than 925 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Australia. All are owned and run by optician joint venture or franchise partners.

The categories for The Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards are:

Hidden Talent of the Year Award, sponsored by ASDA
This award will go to the woman whose contribution to the success of the organisation may not be obviously visible, but nonetheless invaluable and greatly appreciated.
This could be someone who supports a successful team/individual in the organisation. It could be someone who

Star of the Future Award sponsored by Royal Mail
This award will go to the woman aged under 30, whose energy, ambition and generosity of spirit represents the positive future of the retail industry. She will be the one to watch.
Leader of the Year Award sponsored by Pentland
This category is open to all female team, department and business leaders working in retail.
This category reaches across all job functions and nominees could be team / project leaders, managers, department heads or directors within the business.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by Santander Corporate Banking
This award will go to the founder/operator of a retail business whose entrepreneurial talent and vision will inspire others to start their own venture.

Inspiration of the Year Award sponsored by MasterCard Worldwide
This award will go to the woman whose efforts are bringing about positive cultural change for women within her organisation.
This could be someone who is influencing / implementing programmes to support the development / advancement of women in the business.

Store Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Skillsmart Retail
This award will go to the woman whose leadership skills and commercial flair set her apart from her peers.

Innovator of the Year sponsored by Morrisons
This award will go to the woman whose innovative ideas, fresh approach and vision for improving an aspect of the business is having a positive impact on the organisation and/or those working in it.
This could be someone who has introduced innovative sourcing ideas to the business. It could be someone who has devised new processes/functions for the business to make the business more profitable/effective.

* British Retail Consortium
** Skillsmart Retail

Judges
Karen Barter, Founder of Women in Retail
Sue Brownson, OBE, The Blue Bell BMW
Jo Delbridge, Director of PR, Specsavers Optical Group
Rose Foster, Managing Director, Hed Kandi Fashion
Karen Hubbard, Operations Director, Supermarkets, ASDA
Gaynor Gillespie, People & Corporate Development Director, Capital & Regional plc
Jane Guillaume of the Retail Trust
Kim Morton, Chair of the Fashion Retail Academy
Sharon O’Connor, Aurora Fashions
Julia Reynolds, Chief Executive of Figleaves.com
Carrie Rubin, Director of Pentland Group
Anne Seaman, CEO, Skillsmart Retail
Sue Shipley, Partner & Head of Retail Practice at Odgers Berndston
Michelle Irving, Head of Employment Policy, British Retail Consortium