The finalists of the Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards have just been announced, showcasing the retail industry’s top female talent. The changing face of retail is a key topic for UK business as evolving shopping habits, the rise of online retailers, and the disappearance of larger names on the UK’s high street are causing the industry to evolve more rapidly than ever before. Bricks and mortar retailers are having to develop new techniques to drive sales and footfall whilst both on and offline outlets are working to transform the overall customer experience and increase engagement.


These challenges make a career in retail one of the most exciting out there today and underline the importance of identifying and nurturing the industry’s exceptional talent, and those who are making a real difference to the face of retail and resurrection of the high street.


Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder of everywoman, comments, “This year’s finalists are fantastic examples of the pioneers changing the retail industry and showcase what a rewarding and fulfilling career it can offer. We should approach the changing dynamic of the high street with a positive attitude due to the number of stimulating new businesses and techniques that we are witnessing in reaction to the current climate. We want to continue to promote women in retail and celebrate these role models who are inspiring future generations.”


Research shows that businesses with gender diverse workforces are more innovative, in touch with their customer base and more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, yet the retail industry still suffers from a lack of diversity at senior level. Women currently make up the majority of the three million people employed within the retail industry, however research shows that women are far less likely to fill senior positions than men, with director-level roles being 26% female and 74% male.


This is why The Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards are so important, as they showcase the success stories of women at all stages of their careers within the industry, shining a light on their achievements and inspiring a new generation of female talent to pursue a career in retail. If a few months ago we published the categories, we bring now the finalists.


This year's finalists really reflect how much retail has changed to encompass a hugely diverse range of roles and businesses - from entrepreneurs who have started their own street food businesses, jewellery brands and dental hygiene companies to leaders making an impact on the long-established, household name organisations in which they work. The judges commented on this diversity as “truly outstanding”, and also highlighted the determination, motivation and ambition that was evident across all of the finalists.


The 2019 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards finalists are:


Above & Beyond Award

  • Emma Bolton-King, Head of Marketing Strategy and Customer Experience, Sainsbury's Argos, Milton Keynes
  • Tracey Gilbert , Womens Store Manager, Gap, London
  • Azmina Kareem, General Manager Tesco Sourcing Sri Lanka, Tesco, Colombo
  • Fiona McDonnell, European Director, Beer, Wines & Spirits, Amazon, London


Customer Experience Award

  • Alice Boaten, Regional Manager, Sainsbury's Argos, London
  • Amy Dunne, Project Manager, McDonald's Restaurant Ltd, London
  • Helen Flaxman, Senior Customer & Communications Manager, Superdrug, London
  • Farhana Khatun, Customer Service Manager, Sainsbury's Argos, London
  • Lucy Knight, Personal Stylist, John Lewis & Partners, London


Leader Award

  • Lucy Crowther , Group HR Director, Card Factory, Leeds
  • Amber Kelly, People and Culture Director, Post Office Ltd, London
  • Nicola Noble, Head of Quality Assurance and Operational Change, SSE, Glasgow


Entrepreneur Award – Sponsored by Amazon

  • Marisa Hordern, Founder & Creative Director, Missoma Jewellery, London
  • Lucy Litwack, CEO, Coco de Mer, London
  • Dr Jackie Mulligan, Founder/CEO, ShopAppy Ltd, Bradford
  • Tania Rahman, Founder & CEO, Chit Chaat Chai Limited, London
  • Dominique Tillen, Founder and Managing Director, Brush-Baby Ltd, Winchester



Male Mentor Award – Sponsored by Specsavers

  • Paul O'Neill, Divisional Manager, Sainsburys Argos, Manchester
  • Gary Pickering, Director of Sales and Retention, SSE, Cheltenham
  • Karl Viedge, Senior Business Partner Manager, Amazon, London



Rising Star Award – Sponsored by Tesco

  • Krittika D'Silva, PhD Student, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
  • Philippa Haigh, Senior Sales Executive, Farnell Land Rover Guiseley, Leeds
  • Jessica Szczerbinski, Floor Manager, Gap, London



Anita Liu Harvey, Director of Strategy and Business Planning at Barclaycard added: “This year’s finalists are a testament to the incredible women working in retail, and their achievements are all the more impressive given the current change and challenges facing the sector. From entrepreneurs to long-established brand names, we are proud to partner with an awards programme which encompasses such a huge breadth and depth of talent from a diverse range of backgrounds. Huge congratulations to all 23 finalists!”


Winners will be announced on 11 September 2019 at an awards ceremony at Hilton Bankside, London.