Anne Pitcher, Group MD, Selfridges and Celia Pool, Co-Founder, DAME have been announced as the winners of the 2020 Bold Woman Awards by Veuve Clicquot.
Pitcher won the 2020 Bold Woman Award by Veuve Clicquot. The 48th woman to be honoured with the award, Pitcher is recognised for her work in promoting leadership roles for women in fashion, anchoring the business growth strategy in sustainability and driving retail innovation with great care and consideration for its people. She follows in the footsteps of an impressive roster of extraordinary business women, including past winners Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food, Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent and renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid.
The Bold Woman Award is a modern evolution of the Business Woman Award which has been running since 1972 and is the first and longest-running international accolade of its kind. Since they began, the awards have acknowledged women pioneering across all fields of business, celebrating those who share the same qualities as Madame Clicquot, an original trailblazer known for her enterprising spirit, as well as her courage and the determination necessary to accomplish her business goals.
Celia Pool, Co-Founder of DAME, has been awarded the Bold Future Award by Veuve Clicquot for her outstanding contributions to the sustainable development of female products. The Bold Future Award celebrates women who have led with innovation to become pioneers in their industries. Previous winners include exceptional entrepreneurs Stephanie Alys, Founder of MysteryVibe, Cassandra Stavrou, founder of Propercorn and Kathryn Parsons MBE, Founder of Decoded.
The business environment has always presented challenges for women, in particular female entrepreneurs. Just one year ago the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship showed 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. The 2019 Veuve Clicquot Barometer found that while women attach more importance than men to being their own boss (72 per cent vs 65 per cent), they faced considerable societal barriers. 60 per cent of aspiring female entrepreneurs believe they’ll need to work harder than their male counterparts to be successful, while 62 per cent of current female entrepreneurs believed that running their own business full time disturbs family life.
Today, following the initial shock of the global health pandemic, there are already signs that female founders are being harder hit than their male counterparts. One startup fund reported that applications from female entrepreneurs have halved since the start of lockdown, while for men applications were down just 17.5 per cent.
In recognition of how valuable extra support for female entrepreneurs is at this time, and in lieu of an award ceremony this year, Veuve Clicquot and this year’s winners will be partnering with professional networks AllBright, The Dots and Her Hustle to offer a series of “Bold Conversations” to inspire the next generation of business women.
On receiving the award, Anne Pitcher said, “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.”
On receiving her award, Celia Pool said, “It’s inspirational that there are awards like these.”
“There are millions of women who deserve awards every day for the work they do; it’s wonderful to have won the Bold Future Award and to join such a prestigious network of previous winners.”
“At a time where reports show that it is women who are taking the strain of domestic and childcare chores during the pandemic, where they are more likely to be made redundant than their male counterparts, and where we are hearing about the racial bias many women face in the workplace, now is the time to galvanise and support all those women around us.”
“I’m also grateful that within DAME we are all focused on expanding female potential and building on the principles that the Bold Awards recognise.”
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