2019 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards: Alice Boaten of Argos takes home Woman of the Year Award

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The winners of 2019 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards stood in awe when they saw Alice Boaten, regional manager at Sainsbury’s Argos bagging Woman of the Year Award as they celebrated the achievements of female role models in the retail sector.

The winners of the 2019 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards were announced last night at a ceremony in London attended by Tamebay, and hundreds of business leaders from UK’s leading retail brands.

Seven inspirational winners were selected by a judging panel of industry heavyweights including senior women from Barclaycard, Specsavers, John Lewis and Hotel Chocolat.

Alice joined Argos in 2002 as a temporary colleague recruited for Christmas and, over the course of her career, has at some stage undertaken the vast majority of retail roles giving her a deep understanding of the business. Her drive and ambition for change and career enhancement were spotted by the judges, and she stood out for her commitment to diversifying the workforce and for her success despite a less than a traditional career path.

Alice’s determination has brought the company’s vision to life by putting the customer at the heart of everything it does. She is a powerful listener and coach, and her passion and energy has filtered down through her team enabling them to deliver outstanding results in a region which previously never hit its customer metrics. Her story enabled her to be a role model for other women who want to take a less traditional route into retail.

Other category winners for this year include the founder of a fast-growing fashion brand, as well as women who spearheaded the most complex operations at some of the country’s largest retailers, such as Sainsbury’s Argos and Gap. Also celebrated was a Rising Star at the beginning of her career who has already contributed to unprecedented increases in sales, and a Male Mentor who was honoured for his work in actively supporting the advancement of women in the sector.

Above and beyond award

Tracey Gilbert, women’s store manager, Gap, London. Tracey’s long-term and inspiring commitment to The Prince’s Trust stood out to the judges for the dedication she showed to young people. She leads life-changing programmes across London to support over 205 young people entering a career at Gap and the world of retail. Tracey has changed the recruitment process at GAP and used her energy, enthusiasm and passion to develop how store managers interact with customers.

Customer experience excellence award

Helen Flaxman, senior customer and communications manager, Superdrug, London. Helen was responsible for the creation of the first Superdrug Vegan Pop Up, with the objective to reassure customers that they could purchase beauty regimes that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Helen was responsible for developing the Modern Muse charity partnership, to support girls in finding the right career path, through a mentoring scheme.

Entrepreneur award – sponsored by amazon

Marisa Horden, dounder and creative director, Missoma Jewellery, London. Missoma was born out of Marisa’s childhood passion for gemstones which developed into something far more than just a childhood hobby. Marisa seeks to empower the next generation to work hard through collaboration and inspirational leadership. The judges were impressed by how she went from making jewellery at the kitchen table with a full-time job to creating a profitable business.

Leader Award

Amber Kelly, people and culture director, Post Office, London. Amber started her career teaching IT before developing her skills further by becoming an accredited skill and business advisor with Business Link working with SMEs. Amber launched the Engagement Champion Network in 2016 to promote engagement throughout the business, and to encourage a proactive approach within teams when taking action. There are currently over 150 champions across each business area.

Male mentor award – sponsored by Specsavers

Gary Pickering, director of sales and retention, SSE, Cheltenham. Gary wanted individuals showing potential in their career to benefit from his past experiences and created a talent management and succession planning platform called Brilliant Minds. Designed to be a two-year-long mentoring programme, it was open to both women and men but had significant female representation. What resonated with the judges was Gary’s business achievements and his impact on retaining staff in a company with a historically high turn-over rate.

Rising star award – sponsored by Tesco

Philippa Haigh, senior sales executive, Farnell Land Rover Guiseley, Leeds. Philippa started at Guiseley Land Rover at 19 years old and has been identified as a Rising Star within the business for her fundamental work in helping the company achieve a higher than average CSI nationally. In an industry traditionally dominated by men, Pippa’s achievements at only 23 years old are outstanding. The judges admired her ability to turn down previous jobs that didn’t align with her values and her laser-like focus on what she wants to do.

“This year’s winners showcase the inspiring female talent within the UK retail sector and the individuals that are changing the face of retail.

“It is clear to me that as the industry evolves, so must the role models we celebrate and this year’s winners are from some of the most diverse businesses, roles and career paths that we have ever seen.”

“With an uncertain future for the high street and the evolution of new retail platforms and business models, the future of retail is a no doubt a challenging one, but also an exciting one to be a part of. Both everywoman and Barclaycard were impressed with the dynamism and passion for the industry displayed by each and every winner during the judging process.”

“We are confident that the stories for this year’s winners will inspire the next generation of female talent into a career within retail, while continuing to act as inspiring role models for their peers.”
– Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman.


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