Zyda was given the special award in recognition of her inspirational work, both as an international leader, philanthropist and for her outstanding commercial success.

Commenting on the award, Zyda Rylands said, ‘“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 recognizing 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. ”

“I love retail. It’s in my blood. I, like everyone at the World Retail Congress, continue to be inspired and excited by the constantly changing retail landscape, the amazing variety of trends and innovation in our industry and the passion and dedication of the people who work tirelessly to keep giving our customers the best. I feel privileged to be part of Woolworths, and lead the people who work there – our people keep making a difference and are what really makes it such an incredible place to work and shop.”

Group CEO, Ian Moir said, “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.”





About Woolworths

Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL) is a South African-based retail group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange since 1997.

The WHL Group consists of three main operating companies, Woolworths Proprietary Limited (Woolworths), David Jones Limited (David Jones) and Country Road Limited (Country Road Group). Woolworths Financial Services (Proprietary) Limited (Woolworths Financial Services) is a joint venture with Barclays Africa Group.


About World Retail Congress

The World Retail Congress was launched in 2007, to be a platform for senior retail executives to meet and discuss the most important topics affecting retailers across the world. It has been held in Barcelona (2007-9), Berlin (2010-11), London (2012), Paris (2013-14), Rome (2015) and Dubai (2015-2016) is attended by up to 1,400 industry leaders from more than 60 countries.