Skip to content

Nisa celebrates International Women’s Day 2023

Nisa is hosting several employee events to celebrate women’s achievements and embrace equity on International Women’s Day 2023.

It is a global day for celebration of women’s achievements around the world and takes place on Wednesday, 8 March 2023. This year’s mission is to help forge a gender equal world, with the hashtag #EmbraceEquity being used.

This year Nisa will be holding a number of events through Co-op’s Aspire Network at the Partner Support Centre in Scunthorpe for employees to mark the occasion.

A packed auditorium will hear from speakers within the convenience sector and mark International Women’s Day by embracing equity, celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness of gender discrimination.

There will also be a live panel event with a link up with Co-op at 1 Angel Square in Manchester as Managing Director Peter Batt discusses how Nisa actively embraces equity to encourage a world free of bias, stereotypes or discrimination and a working environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, where difference is valued and celebrated.

One of the speakers on the day will be Valerie Aston, Director of Scarborough retailer The Proudfoot Group, and trustee at Nisa Retail’s registered charity Making a Difference Locally (MADL).


Val joined Proudfoots in 1993 as a Buying Assistant, moving to the more senior role of Buyer and Distribution Controller in 1998. Her role within the company is key to the day-to-day operation of sourcing, managing and distributing goods to each of the branches, as well as managing the company’s promotional activity, community relations and donations through MADL.

When asked whether there has been a notable change in equality towards women since entering retail, Val said: “I would like to say yes, but there is still a long way to go. Women can lack confidence, so we ensure to encourage every idea, every piece of feedback and enable personal growth for women within the convenience sector.”

Abigail Leftley has recently taken over daily operations at the Leftley’s of Wells Nisa Local store. The third generation, family-run store in North Norfolk recently marked 50 years of trading in the popular tourist town of Wells-next-the-Sea.

Abigail is very passionate about the store and is a keen supporter of women in retail.

She said: “The large majority of our staff are female. I feel the best way to make women feel empowered is to let their voices be heard. In having group discussions we make all our staff feel comfortable to have their own opinions and ideas and praise them for it.

“I do believe as each year goes by opportunities for women in retail are getting more common. I feel it is less of a shock for women to oversee situations and people are accepting it more. I hope my story shows that in retail it doesn’t have to be a father and son partnership and a father and daughter collaboration can be just as successful.”


Nisa’s Head of Retail, Victoria Lockie, is an experienced retail leader with over 35 years within the independent convenience sector.

Vicky continues to be a keen advocate for women in retail – both within Nisa and in the convenience sector.

“Val and Abigail began their journeys in convenience at different times but it is interesting to hear that they had similar obstacles to overcome whilst establishing themselves in senior positions. They both do a wonderful job.

“We work with some incredibly talented women across the country who do a fantastic job within their own stores. Likewise, within Nisa there are many women who achieve brilliant milestones on a daily basis so I’m delighted the whole business is able to come together and celebrate such a worthy day of appreciation.”

Peter Batt, Managing Director of Nisa, added: “I’m really looking forward to hearing from the speakers we’ve got lined up on the day and also taking part in the panel session in the afternoon. Equality across the business is essential for Nisa and days of action such as International Women’s Day again goes to demonstrate the talented women both within Nisa and within our retailers.

“We know this is just the beginning in terms of how we hope to influence positive change within Nisa and the wider wholesale/convenience sector.”

Contact Nisa and Join Today