Woolworths SA's CEO, Zyda Rylands. Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg – SA fashion and food retailer Woolworths says its SA CEO Zyda Rylands received the inaugural Woman of The Year award.

This was at the World Retail Congress’s International Women in Retail Reception, held on April 5.

In a statement on Friday, the listed retailer said Rylands was given the special award in “recognition of her inspirational work, both as an international leader, philanthropist and for her outstanding commercial success”.

Rylands says “it is an honour to receive this inaugural Woman of the Year Award and to be recognised by such an esteemed and venerable group of retailers. I am blessed to receive the inaugural award, but I am even more excited that this is the first of many recognising women in retail.

“Though competence transcends gender and race there is still much work to be done by everyone in retail to ensure greater diversity in retail leadership. ” 

Read also: Woolworths realigns Australia businesses

Rylands adds she loves retail, and it’s in her blood.

Group CEO Ian Moir adds: “To be given this sort of honour by the World Retail Congress is inspiring on many fronts. The award recognises Zyda’s inspirational retail career, both internationally and locally, and also recognizes the great philanthropic work she has done over the years.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE