Leading national motor retailer Lookers is proud to announce that its Group Marketing Director, Heike O’Leary, has been shortlisted for a prestigious award that celebrates women in industry.

The marketing guru has been nominated for the Corporate Leader title in the Forward Ladies National Awards 2017, the UK’s largest support network for women in business. The awards are sponsored by HSBC, which itself has been voted a leading employer among women.

As many as 67 entrepreneurial female business leaders were nominated across 12 categories in the regional finals, with the winners to be put forward for the national final in December. Nominations were made by contemporaries across a number of professions, as well as business partners and suppliers.

Forward Ladies is the UK’s largest support network for women in business and empowers women through networking, guidance, support and the opportunity to share their success stories. The awards bring together start-ups, multi-million pound businesses, academics and international business leaders, to celebrate the success of women in business and industry nationwide.

The nomination further recognises work by Lookers to increase gender diversity among its workforce, with the retailer committed to the UK Automotive 30% Club, an initiative which aims to achieve a minimum of 30% of women in management positions by 2030. Lookers also encourages the retention of female employees by offering an attractive benefits package, including an industry leading one year’s maternity leave at full pay.

Lookers are also working alongside parenting website Mumsnet to become the number one motor retailer amongst families.

This shortlisting follows a run of success for Lookers, with the retailer recently being certified by the Top Employers Institute for providing its people with a great place to work, the only motor retailer to receive the accolade.

Heike O’Leary has been Group Marketing Director at Lookers since 2015 and has made a significant impact on marketing strategies across the group. With a wealth of international marketing and branding experience, having previously worked for leading retail brands including adidas, Callaway Golf and Bally, Heike has a proven track record of achieving real results, locally and internationally.

Heike said: “It is an honour to be recognised amongst such inspirational women in business and be shortlisted for this award. Forward Ladies is a strong network of talented and inspiring women who do a fantastic job of furthering the achievements and successes of businesswomen across the country.

“Our marketing team have worked hard to create valuable and successful marketing campaigns that appeal to our target customers. It is great to be recognised for this, particularly in such a male dominated industry.”

The Forward Ladies Awards regional final will be held on 22nd September 2017 at a prestigious ceremony at The Crowne Plaza in Newcastle upon Tyne. This will give businesswomen across the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland the chance to come together, share their experiences and celebrate their successes. The national finalists will attend the glittering grand final on 1st December in Leeds.