Selfridges managing director wins Bold Woman Award

Anne Pitcher, Selfridges group managing director has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Bold Woman Award by Veuve Clicquot business accolade for her work in promoting leadership roles for women in fashion.

The judging panel of the longest-running international awards celebrating women in business, said that they were impressed with the “significant financial success” of Selfridges under Pitcher’s leadership.

As the 48th woman to be honoured with the award, Pitcher was praised for overseeing a period of “unprecedented commercial performance and growth” with the latest figures showing sales reaching a record 1.85 billion pounds. At the helm of Selfridges, she has continued to raise the bar by setting industry standards in extraordinary customer experiences, delivering on its commitments to sustainability, curating leading fashion brands and driving innovation.

On receiving the award, Pitcher said in a statement: “I am honoured and humbled to have won the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award from among such an exceptional and talented group of women shortlisted. I believe women are showing the world there is a new and different way to lead, built on creativity, courage and respect for people and the planet.

“Leadership is also collaborative and I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of my colleagues throughout Selfridges Group who make it such an inspirational place to work. The last few months have been among the most challenging of my career. Receiving this award is wonderful encouragement to continue our task ahead to reinvent retail for a sustainable future.”

2020 Bold Woman Award by Veuve Clicquot honours Anne Pitcher, Selfridges managing director

Pitcher was promoted to group managing director of Selfridges Group in 2019, following a career within the brand which began in 2004. Under her leadership, Pitcher has championed female representation and increasing the number of women in leadership positions, has overseen the development of the Selfridges apprenticeship scheme, with 80 percent of those taking part in the scheme being women, and signed the retailer up to the Tech Talent Charter to help increase the number of women in STEM-based roles.

The judges also praised her for how, in these turbulent times, she is “stepping forward and taking the lead in steering the business through transformational change, showing great care and consideration for its people as Selfridges continues to show the way in reinventing retail”.

Pitcher was up against Anne Boden, chief executive and founder of Starling Bank and Vania Leles, founder of Vanleles Diamonds for the accolade.

Celia Pool named as winner of the Bold Future Award by Veuve Clicquot

In addition, Celia Pool, co-founder of Dame, was awarded the Bold Future Award by Veuve Clicquot for her outstanding contributions to the sustainable development of female products. Judges praised her work not only in the innovating sanitary products that reduce plastic pollution but also her contribution to better health for women.

The awards were launched to acknowledged women pioneering across all fields of business, celebrating those who share the same qualities as Madame Clicquot, as well as to highlight challenges for women in business.

New research reveals from Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship shows that only one in three entrepreneurs were women, with access to funding, risk awareness, primary care responsibilities and perception of skills identified as the key barriers.

While the 2019 Veuve Clicquot Barometer found that while women attach more importance than men to being their own boss (72 percent vs 65 percent), they faced considerable societal barriers, and 60 percent of aspiring female entrepreneurs believe they’ll need to work harder than their male counterparts to be successful, while 62 percent of current female entrepreneurs believed that running their own business full time disturbs family life.

Jean-Marc Gallot, president of Veuve Clicquot, added: “This year’s winners are truly exceptional businesswomen who have demonstrated pioneering female leadership and innovation that have not only contributed to the success of their businesses but growth in their industries too.

“This year is different for so many reasons, making the purpose of the Bold Woman Awards - inspiring the next generation of businesswomen by celebrating role models - more important than ever. Despite this year being our first year not to hold a physical awards ceremony, we celebrate our winners and their achievements through inspiring conversations with others.

“Our desire to encourage women to be bold, to assert themselves and to take the plunge pushes us ever further. Providing visibility and stimulating debate is the best way to increase the presence of female talent in the world of entrepreneurship and to fulfil our commitment: to inspire a new generation of enterprising women.”

Image: courtesy of 2020 Bold Woman Award by Veuve Clicquot of Anne Pitcher, Selfridges group managing director


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