Luton woman goes above and beyond at work

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A woman from Luton has won a top retail award

Zuzana Starjakova, team manager at Ocado, has been named the Above and Beyond Award winner at the 2018 Barclaycard everywoman in Retail Awards winners.

Nine inspirational winners were selected by a judging panel of industry heavyweights including senior women from Stella McCartney, Burberry, Tesco, Specsavers and Amazon. After debating “What makes a retailer in today’s world?” and “How do we define it?”, judges handpicked the trailblazers who are redefining retail to be more than the simple exchange of goods and services. The winners include founders of fast-growing brands offering bespoke services and women spearheading the most complex operations at some of the country’s largest retailers, such as Co-op and Gap.

Zuzana began her career as a personal shopper and, in just four months, was promoted to a supervisor role. In little over a year she was promoted again to team manager and now manages 60 personal shoppers, dealing with all their needs including welfare, flexible working, and grievances.

Throughout her career, she has mentored a number of personal shoppers into supervisory and managerial roles. After returning from maternity leave, she developed programmes that better cater to new parents at Ocado. She realised there were gaps within its existing “Return to Work” plan and knew it needed to not only be legally compliant, but to cater to the specific needs of the individual. With this in mind, she created a new policy to better support women when either leaving for or coming back from maternity leave. This included ensuring direct, structured contact with the individual’s line manager.

Beyond her work improving working conditions for her colleagues, Zuzana’s stellar management has led to Ocado achieving an impressive 99.5 per cent customer fulfilment rate and 0.7 per cent overall waste.