Wendy Hallett to be keynote speaker at Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Awards

Wendy Hallett, MBE, founder and managing director of Hallett Retail and a member of the Women’s Business Council will be keynote speaker at this year’s Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Awards.

Wendy Hallett, MBE, founder and managing director of Hallett Retail and a member of the Women’s Business Council will be keynote speaker at this year’s Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Awards.

Wendy, who spent 13 years at Arcadia, set up Hallett Retail in 1999 as a completely unique concessions concept, pulling together boutique, young fashion brands and accessories under her own fuse fashion network branded umbrella or in Hallett Retail-run concessions in host stores and online. Today, Hallett Retail works with many of the High Street’s top retailers including Debenhams, New Look, John Lewis and Next.

Wendy, who was named overall winner of the 2011 everywoman NatWest awards, is a member of the Women in Business Council, a Government initiative to find better opportunities for women to contribute to the economy.

She is also a founding Muse in the everywoman Modern Muse initiative, which aims to engage the next generation of female business leaders and entrepreneurs by showcasing successful women of today in all walks of business life.   She works with schools and colleges, including the University of East London and the Fashion Retail Academy, and women’s networking groups, to help inspire the next generation of successful working women.

She was awarded the MBE for services to diversity in the retail sector and was recently invited by the British Banking Association to join their Diversity and Inclusion Business Council set up to provide a platform to explore key enterprise diversity challenges and opportunities in the UK today.

The fifth annual Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Awards, sponsored by McDonald’s Restaurants, take place on 4th November in London. They recognise employers both big and small who have embraced the business benefits of flexible working and have been proactive in seeking to recruit and retain talented staff, particularly working parents who want to combine successful careers with being a parent. The Awards ceremony includes a networking session, sponsored by Unilever, and an in-depth Q & A session with leading experts in diversity and flexible working, sponsored by BAE Systems.

This year there are seven categories open to employers, one of which is also open to employees. An Overall Top Employer is chosen from the winners of the other categories. The categories include Best for Dads in recognition of the links between women’s career progression and greater equality in the home. The issue of how to reach dads and support them in working more flexibly was one of the big debate points at last year’s Awards and organisations are increasingly looking at these issues in light of policy changes, such as the introduction of shared parental leave next year. Other awards include Talent Attraction which aims to share good practice on reaching out to a more diverse workforce, for instance, through advertising flexible roles.

The full line-up of Award categories is:

– Innovation in Flexible Working Award, sponsored by last year’s Overall Top Employer Atkins

– Career Progression Award, sponsored by last year’s winner the Royal Mail Group

– SME Award [split into sections for companies with under 25 and under 250 employees]

– Best for Dads Award, sponsored by IG Group

– Talent Attraction Award

– Family Support Award

– Working Mums Champion Award

A Best Practice Report highlighting last year’s winners’ policies and practices, with individual case studies and an overview of developments in diversity and flexible working, will be published shortly.

Gillian Nissim, Founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: “I am delighted that Wendy Hallett has agreed to be our keynote speaker. Her experience in what can be a challenging sector for women and her work for other women businessnesswomen and as a member of the Women’s Business Council make her the perfect speaker for our Top Employer Awards. She will speak not only about her own personal experience, but about broader issues affecting women’s working lives and career progression.”

The Awards will be judged by an expert panel made up of Gillian Nissim, Andy Lake, editor of Flexibility.co.uk, Jennifer Liston-Smith, Director, Head of Coaching & Consultancy at My Family Care, Dave Dunbar, head of BT Flexible Working Services and Professor Clare Kelliher of Cranfield School of Management. The closing date for entries is 18th July. Click here to find out more and to nominate. Nomination is free and simple.

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