Kingfisher supports Specsavers everywoman in Retail Ambassadors’ ceremony

Kingfisher plc is a supporting partner of the Specsavers everywoman in Retail Ambassadors’ ceremony being held tonight at Claridges in central London.

The everywoman in Retail Ambassador Programme each year recognises 12 outstanding women in retail. The Ambassadors are at all stages of their careers and include high-performers, those who inspire success in others and exceptional team leaders. 

In 2014, Clare Wardle, Kingfisher’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, was named as an everywoman in Retail Ambassador for inspiring success in others. In 2013 Clare established the Kingfisher Women’s Network. Involving both men and women from across the company, the network aims to help women across the company to achieve their potential. Clare is also a mentor to women both within and outside of Kingfisher. Prior to working at Kingfisher, Clare rose the ranks quickly to hold senior legal positions at Tube Lines, Post Office and Royal Mail. 

Commenting on championing women in the workplace, Clare said: “Whilst you can argue that companies should be able to see the value of women in business without specs, these awards are a brilliant concept because they showcase what success can look like at all ages and stages of a career in retail.” 

“It is important that everyone is encouraged to reach their full potential, and I am particularly passionate about helping women find ways to do that. It can be as simple as reminding someone of how their body language is perceived by others, to helping someone to expand their network or becoming a mentor.” 

“Women account for half our customers and make around three quarters of home improvement decisions. Over 40% of Kingfisher’s main board are women and we recognise the importance of building a pipeline of management talent. We are therefore proud to support this important event championing women in retail.”

Clare’s advice on reaching your potential

  • Believe in yourself - If you back yourself you will get there. 
  • Enjoy what you do - At job interviews, think about what those people will be like to work for.
  • Go for it - When faced with a potentially challenging but attractive opportunity, instead of thinking ‘I probably couldn’t do that’, think ‘maybe I’d like to do that’. Don’t fall back into your comfort zone.
  • Use your network inside and outside of work - The role I had at Tube Lines, and the role I have at Kingfisher, was the result of a connection I’d made some time before. If you don’t know what to do next, reach out and ask someone who has. Most people are incredibly generous with their time and advice.   
  • Learn from your mistakes - don’t let them deter you from trying something new.

Most memorable piece of advice received 

“I wanted to be more effective in the boardroom. I was told simply to ‘sit up straight, don’t put your head on one side and look them in the eye’. It worked. Sometimes we just need to look a bit tougher.”

Watch an interview with Clare Wardle, filmed after the 2014 everywoman in Retail Ambassador Programme event