Finalists announced for 2012 Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards

Everywoman, the UK’s largest female business community, has announced the women who have made it to the final of the Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards. These women, working within large or small organisations, or as leaders of their own enterprises, demonstrate the exciting and diverse opportunities that are available for other women looking for career satisfaction and reward.

 Now in their fifth year, the Awards were originally launched to address the disproportionate lack of women in senior roles in the retail sector by shining a spotlight on the achievements of those that have already climbed the ladder. The industry is one that is dominated by women, with over 60% of staff being female, but this number dwindles to less than 5% female CEOs in retail companies, and only

The finalists are:


Star of the Future Award – in a business with a turnover under £200 million


Alyssa Smith, FounderDirector and Jewellery Designer Maker, Alyssa Smith Jewellery Limited from Hertfordshire

Lydia Smith, Assistant Manager, Whistles from Nottingham

Jennifer Welford, Owner/Operator, The Pokey Hat from Glasgow



Star of the Future Award – in a business with a turnover over £200 million


Charlotte Crideford, Online Marketing Specialist, Vodafone UK from Newbury

Hayley Hartwell, Womenswear Buyer, George – Asda from Leicester

Sarah Jones, Senior Buyer, Homebase from Milton Keynes

Leader of the Year Award- in a business with a turnover under £200 million – Sponsored by Penna


Jo Davies, Founder and Managing Director, Black White Denim from Cheshire

Sarah Halsall, Retail Director, Liberty Ltd from London

Terri Roberts, HR Manager, Farm and Pet Place Ltd from Llanrwst, North Wales

Leader of the Year Award – in a business with a turnover over £200 million


Claire Barron, Customer Experience Manager, Vodafone UK from Newbury

Judith McKenna, Chief Operating Officer, Asda Stores Ltd       from Leeds

Michelle Nelson, Head of Retail and Distribution HR, Homebase from Milton Keynes


Innovator of the Year Award – Sponsored by Cisco


Leanne Curtis-Cobb, Creative Director, QuackQuackMoo from Kent

Fiona Lambert, George Brand Director, George from Leicester

Lizzie McAuley, Director, Baker Brothers Diamonds from Bedford

Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Sponsored by Asda Stores Ltd


Geraldine Hurd, Company Director, Betty and Belle Ltd from Cheshire

Viviane Jaeger and Emma-Jayne Parkes, Co-Founders, SquidLondon from London

Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden, Co-Founders, Tatty Devine Ltd from London


Online Retailer of the Award

Dessislava Bell, Founder, Zaggora from London
Carol Kane, Joint CEO, from Manchester

Melissa Littler, Marketing and PR Director, from London


Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman, states: “Retail is the largest private sector employer in the UK, and is evolving rapidly – with many more job opportunities transpiring through the explosion of online shopping. The industry offers huge variety and diversity of opportunity. These finalists demonstrate that, despite the challenging economic climate, determination, hard work and leadership can underpin commercial success, and they are a shining example to others looking to make their mark.”


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 entrants 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.”


The winners of the seven different categories will be announced at a glittering ceremony at The Savoy, on 13 September, along with the ‘Woman of the Year’ who will be selected from all finalists. For table bookings and ticket enquiries, please contact everywoman directly on 020 7981 2574 and for further information visit

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