ESM Honours Female Executives at London Awards
Published on Oct 26 2010 7:16 AM in Retail
Twenty of Europe's top female executives in the grocery sector have been honoured at the inaugural ESM European Businesswomen of the Year Awards: For Excellence in Grocery Retail, held at The Dorchester Hotel, London. The winners hail from Belgium, Croatia, France, Sweden, Slovenia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and the UK.
Despite recent positive comments about increasing the number of female executives at work in both the grocery and FMCG sectors by individuals such as Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola [“Creating a climate of success for women globally is just simply smart business for a consumer-products company. It's smart business for any company. Empower women and you recharge the world.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhtar-kent/post_1057_b_762044.html], and Mike Duke, the chief executive of Walmart, and thus the biggest employer in the world [“I've spent enough time in stores talking to women and see that 70% to 80% of our customers are women in every country where we operate.” http://tinyurl.com/2fd7gjm ], the number of women with top level jobs remains relatively low.
A recent study by ESM [see 'Executive Inequalities' attached] found that in many of Europe's leading FMCG and grocery businesses, the ratio of men to women on executive boards varies, however, for the most part, women remain underrepresented in senior management [12.5%, or 1 in 8, among the companies in our study]. For this reason, the ESM European Businesswomen of the Year Awards is an important step towards highlighting the need to 'redress the balance' among Europe's top supermarket operators.
Joanne Denney-Finch OBE, chief executive of IGD and the chairperson of the judging panel, commented: “Women are coming up through the ranks thick and fast and for the first time, the next generation of female leaders have the opportunities and role models to help them succeed. The ESM Businesswomen of the Year awards aim to highlight those women with increasing positions of power and influence. They also put a spotlight on the trailblazaers and endeavour to encourage more women to come up through the ranks.”
Kevin Kelly, editor and publisher of ESM Magazine, commented: “If a grocer's daughter can be prime minister of England, if an elegant French woman can be minister for finance in France, and if the chancellor of Europe's leading economy can be a woman, surely it is only a question of time before a female executive heads up Tesco, Carrefour or one of Europe's leading supermarkets.”The full list of winners (and their businesses is as follows):• Gwyn Burr, Customer Service & Colleague Director, Sainsbury’s (UK)• Christiane Steegmans, Vice President of Strategy, Delhaize Group (Belgium)• Vera Aljan?i? Falež, Director, Mercator (Slovenia)• Véronique Discours-Buhot, Group Sustainability Director at Carrefour (France)• Petra Axdorff, Executive Vice President, Assortment and Sourcing, ICA Sverige (Sweden)*• Ljerka Puljic, Senior Executive Vice President for Strategic Business Groups, Agrokor (Croatia)• Karin Hygrell-Jonsson, Chief Financial Officer, Axfood (Sweden)• Beverley Aspinall, Managing Director, Fortnum & Mason (UK)• Sharon Buckley, Group Commercial Director, Musgrave Group (Ireland)• Heather Jenkins, Director of Buying for Meat, Poultry, Fish, Frozen, Waitrose (UK)• Laura Wade-Gery, Chief Executive, Tesco.com (UK)• Monica Turner, Group Financial Controller, Asda (UK)• Margaret Heffernan, Director, Dunnes Stores (Ireland)• Mateja Jesenek, Member of the Board for Marketing, Format Development and Buying/CMO, Mercator (Slovenia)• Kimberley Ross, Chief Financial Officer, Ahold (Netherlands)• Gisele Girgis, Member of Executive Board, Federation of Migros Co-Ops (Switzerland)• Judith McKenna, Chief Financial Officer, Asda (UK)• Maura Latini, Deputy Chairman of Board of Management, Coop Italia (Italy)• Tiziana Primori, General Manager, Coop Adriatica (Italy)• Ingrid Jonasson Blank, Executive Vice President Retail, ICA Sverige AB(Sweden)• Cecile Cloarec, Group HR Director, Carrefour (France)**Has now left the company
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