Thursday, March 22, 2012

News: Rotherham retailers up for leadership award


Three women who have been instrumental in the retail revival in Rotherham town centre have been shortlisted for an award that recognises their leadership roles in business, the community and public services.

Thirteen inspirational Rotherham women have been put forward for the Athena Award 2012.

Rotherham is the only place in the UK to be affiliated to the Athena International Programme, the main aim of which is to secure a balance in leadership worldwide by "acknowledging and honouring those quiet leaders, mostly women, whose efforts are adding immensely to the fabric of their communities, while they remain unacknowledged and not visible as leaders."

Kara Chapman of the The Whistlestop Sweetshop and Laura Bullock of the Bittersweet Boutique have both been nominated for the awards.

Joining them is Bernadette Rushton, retail investment manager at Rotherham Borough Council, who has supported Kara and Laura, and many others, in establishing new independent shops in the town centre.

Coun. Roger Stone, Leader of Rotherham Borough Council, said: "Athena is not about saying women leaders are more important than men, or that women should be given an unfair advantage, but it is about creating balance.

"Strong leadership can take many forms, and as well as recognising women who have already achieved in their own right, Athena is a great way of inspiring others who perhaps are lacking in confidence or perceive the opportunities do not currently exist for them.

"The list of honourees demonstrates very clearly that those opportunities do exist in Rotherham, and we must support and encourage our women leaders to make the most of them."

The recipient will be announced this Friday, March 23 and the ceremony will be hosted by the 2011 Athena Recipient, Jackie Freeborn, chief executive of Business and Education South Yorkshire in Templeborough.

Sponsorship for the awards has been provided by the Rotherham Local Strategic Partnership and partner organisations including the Council, NHS Rotherham and the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

Commercial sponsors include Willmott Dixon, one of Rotherham Borough Council's housing maintenance partners, and local publishing company, Garnett Dickinson.

Whistlestop Sweetshop Facebook page
Bittersweet Boutique website
Rotherham town centre website



Tom,  March 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM  

Chief Inspector Caroline Rollitt of South Yorkshire Police was the recipient of the Athena Award this year.

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