First Women Awards: tonight’s the night

RETAIL & CONSUMER

Juliet Davenport, chief executive, Good Energy

Juliet is founder and chief executive of Good Energy, the UK’s only dedicated 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier. Juliet is the only female CEO in her industry. Since Good Energy was founded ten years ago, it has effected real change in the energy market. It now supplies energy to more than 26,000 homes and businesses across the UK, sourcing its electricity from a community of more than 1,700 independent renewable generators.

Susan Elston, managing director, Aramark

As managing director of Aramark Offshore and Remote Locations, Susan is responsible for almost half of the UK offshore catering market. She was the driving force behind the company’s expansion into Denmark, Norway and the Middle East. She is the first woman ever to join the board of Oil and Gas UK. Her aim is for the UK to follow in Denmark’s footsteps, where women make up 30 per cent of the offshore workforce.

Jill McDonald, CEO, McDonald’s Restaurants

Jill has been described as “Europe’s top marketer”. Appointed only in 2010, she is the first female McDonald’s CEO; the first to come from a non-operational background; and has enjoyed the fastest trip to the top. Jill has long been an active member of the McDonald’s Women’s Leadership Development Programme (45 per cent of UK employees are women). She has been instrumental in the transformation of McDonald’s – as a company and as a customer experience – and looks set to make even further contributions as CEO in the years ahead.

Thea Green MBE, managing director, Nails Inc

Former Tatler editor Thea opened her first Nails Inc bar, pioneering 15-minute manicures, in 2000. Today it is the world’s most successful nail bar chain, a truly staggering achievement. Thea has gone on to open sister brand Get Lashed and create new products including crystal cap polishes and Swarovski crystal procedures. Nails Inc will hit £13m turnover this year, serving 10,000 customers per week, and eyeing further international expansion. This is a brand of true global reach created by one of Britain’s finest entrepreneurs.

Belinda Parmar, Lady Geek

Around a third of women in the UK feel intimidated and patronised by the way technology companies speak to them. Belinda aims to change that forever. So she created Lady Geek as a campaigning agency dedicated to ending the stereotypes and clichés towards women in the technology industry. Her efforts should also help the IT sector which, she says, is underserving a consumer base worth £600m.

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