B&Q HR suprema scoops top award

Liz Bell thank you speach picnik

B&Q's Liz Bell experiences that Hollywood moment...

Liz Bell, who is HR Director for local employer B&Q and is based at their Chandlers Ford corporate Headquarters, has been announced as the winner of the ‘Leader of the Year Award’ category in the 2010 ‘Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards’sponsored by Pentland.

There are over 2.8 million people in the retail industry – 11% of the total UK workforce – and although 60% of employees are women, very few are in senior management positions, with less than 5% female CEOs.

The award organisers say there is a need to remedy this situation by identifying positive role models to inspire other women.

All this year’s winners are women whose strong role models highlight the opportunities available to women in retail.

Liz began her career in retail as a temporary sales assistant at M&S which she enjoyed so much that she joined the graduate scheme. As HR Director for B&Q, Liz has a team of 160 who support 33,000 staff.

In addition to being HR Director, Liz has also been the only female main board director for 12 months, is a non-exec director for Skillsmart Retail and a lay member of the employment tribunal. Liz has three children, all enjoying successful careers whom she is very proud of.

She says her inspirations are her mother, who worked as a school teacher, her sister and the CEO when she worked at Jaeger, Pat Burnett, who demonstrated that she could have a family as well as a career

Maxine Benson, MBE, Co-founder and Director of Everywoman remarks,

“With the UK coming out of recession, it is important to champion the women that possess the skills necessary to ensure organisations can continue to thrive. These are really inspirational women and we want to encourage more females to consider careers in retail.”

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”.

Congratulations Liz, nice to see that you are able to give up some of your time to work with the employment tribunal.