Hundreds of business figures gathered at Claridge’s Hotel in London last week to celebrate 12 incredible women working within retail who have been chosen as 2015 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Ambassadors, singled out for their outstanding career achievements and ability to inspire others. This programme is fronted by retail icon Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, and supported by a number of forward-thinking organisations that are committed to showcasing the career opportunities retail offers women of all ages. Guests included senior figures from 35 retail brands who joined together to congratulate the Ambassadors and celebrate their achievements.
The world of retail is immense, and the UK is a global leader. Those considering retail as a career have numerous opportunities open to them, whether their passion is to work in fashion, grocery, sports or gifts, and with the growth of e-commerce there has never been a better time to join the sector. Yet more needs to be done to ensure equality at a senior level in retail – only 13 out of 100 on the Retail Week Power List 2015 were women. These phenomenally inspirational women unveiled yesterday have been chosen to help balance this inequality – by sharing their story with other women, showing them what a career in retail really looks like, and influencing them to understand that they too can achieve great things.
The 2015 Specsavers everywoman in Retail Ambassadors are:
- Negar Bagherzadeh, senior manager business applications, Gap inc, from North London, chosen as the 2015 Retail Ambassador of the Year
- Gillian Baird, store manager, Asda, based in Birmingham
- Lorna Billinge, vice president of Global QA and Supply Chain Operations, QVC, from Liverpool
- Clare Blampied, managing director, Sacla UK, from Beaconsfield
- Suzanne Cooper, bakery manager, Greggs the Bakers, from Manchester