Inspiring change on IWD2023

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has celebrated women’s success and reinforced the drive towards gender equality across the globe. Today, we champion International Women’s Day 2023 and its theme to #EmbraceEquity, striving towards a future where equality is enshrined and inclusivity breaks through the barriers of difference.

We are highlighting some inspirational women working in retail to chart how their careers and sense of purpose have worked towards greater equity throughout the industry.

Rihanna – Founder, Fenty

Popstar Rihanna is just as well known today for her Fenty brand and presence in fashion retail as much as her infectious music. Pioneering body positivity throughout her fashion shows and making diversity a central tenet of her brand, Rihanna also opened several of her first physical stores in 2022, highlighting how an inclusive strategy can be a marker for success.

Sharon White – CEO, John Lewis Partnership

Since 2020, Dame Sharon White has been the first female chair of leading UK retailer John Lewis. She joined the retail brand following her appointment as the first female head of media regulator Ofcom. Continuing to shatter the glass ceiling, White has spearheaded new initiatives for change at John Lewis, including the Building Happier Futures program, which supports young people in care by providing them with long term, meaningful employment.

Sucharita Kodali – VP, Principal Analyst, Forrester

E-commerce, omnichannel commerce and consumer behavior expert Sucharita Kodali has been leading incisive and deep-thinking research into the retail industry since her appointment at Forrester in 2005. Focusing on consumer concerns, the efficacy of brands, and trend forecasting, Kodali’s analysis of the retail landscape has been governing the ever-changing conversation on retail in the digital age.

Kate Ancketill – Business futurist

Analyzing the big picture developments in consumer demands, futurist Kate Ancketill’s GDR consultancy is an innovation partner with global brands including Google, Coca-Cola and Lego. Considering global and socio-political developments such as the climate crisis and the cost of living, Ancketill is a female leader advising on the best ways retailers can make values like equity integral to their offering.

Alison Hutchison – CEO, Pennies

As CEO of Flooid partner Pennies, Alison Hutchinson oversees the FinTech company’s leading role in facilitating microdonations throughout retail locations in the UK. Unlocking technology to provide affordable, digital ways to donate, Pennies enables vital funding for a variety of charities through offering small monetary contributions at checkouts. Heading up the company since day one, and operating in a challenging economic environment, Hutchinson ensures charities receive the funding they need in an omnichannel landscape.


Emma Bridgewater – Founder, Emma Bridgewater

Ceramicist Emma Bridgewater has grown her pottery business since its founding in 1985 to now become one of the largest in the UK. Representing female artists and entrepreneurs, Bridgewater’s instantly-recognizable ranges of mugs, plates and crockery are still made in Stoke-on-Trent and promote a range of charities in their special editions range. There is even an International Women’s Day mug to choose from, which provides a donation to young women being supported by the Prince’s Trust.


Diane Palmquist – CEO, Flooid

At Flooid HQ, we are proud to be a gender-diverse company with a formidable, female CEO. Joining the team in 2020, Diane has led the charge to create an aspirational work environment that places empowerment and diversity at the core of the company’s values. As Flooid continues to grow, it is with the strength of our inclusive teams that we can continue to shape the future of commerce.

Follow Diane’s LinkedIn.

“At Flooid, we actively support women everywhere in our business. Women make up a large part of the Retail landscape and we want to represent women in our ecosystem. Taking a day to celebrate International Women’s Day gives us the chance to celebrate and recognize women everywhere.”

Visit to find out more about #IWD2023.

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