Inspirational women collect franchise awards

25 women who have injected vital energy and passion into franchising this past year, were honoured at the fourth annual EWIF (Encouraging Women Into Franchising) Awards

Sponsored by NatWest, the prestigious awards were given to a handful of inspirational women at an event in London in May.

Molly Maid founder, Pam Bader, cried as she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution award. She was chosen for her extended network of female franchisees, for being the first woman elected to the board of the British Franchise Association, as well as for her work as ambassador and mentor for women looking at franchising.

Speaking after the event, Bader said that until women received the same pay for the same work, there was still a great deal of work to do. “Women should not sit around waiting for the merchant banker,” she said.

It’s important for women to be financially independent because a woman is not in control if she is relying on someone else.

“Women are usually fantastic in franchising because they can follow a system and follow advice, but what is also needed is motivation and entrepreneurial skill and the will to achieve,” she added.

Other brands whose inspirational women franchise owners did them proud included lawn care specialists TruGreen – whose only female franchise owner, Karen Burdett, won the New Woman Franchisee of the Year category.

EWIF co-chairwoman Louise Harris, who also founded Wilkins Chimney Sweep with her husband, Peter, and remains its Franchise Director, described the day as wonderful.

Harris commented: “As a flagship event, today was a wonderful day for EWIF and, in keeping with the theme of the day, it was also totally inspiring.

“The finalists and winners here today are a testament to the fact that, although there may not be as many women in franchising as there should be, the ones we have are hugely talented and are tremendous role models for anyone thinking of joining our industry in 2013.”

Louise Bruce, also EWIF co-chairwoman, said: “It is a well-documented fact that women are under-represented in franchising in the UK; our job at EWIF is to encourage more women to consider buying a franchise as a business, expanding their existing business through franchising and to help existing franchisors to redress any gender imbalances in their organisations.” Graeme Jones, Head of Franchising at NatWest, said: “Franchising represents a great opportunity to get into self-employment across a range of sectors and business models.
“We are delighted to support these awards, which celebrate the range of talent that exists and acts as a beacon for those who require the necessary encouragement to get involved.”

EWIF is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to encourage women to buy a franchise business, to franchise their existing business or to help existing franchise operations to attract more female franchisees.

The finalist line-up included women who fulfil a range of roles in brands, such as ServiceMaster’s Head of Marketing Hannah Banfield, Christina Gray of Rosemary Bookkeeping and The Franchise Magazine’s own guest feature writer Sally Butters, of marketing firm Coconut Creatives, was shortlisted in the Woman Service Provider of the Year category.