The Senior Leadership Academy (SLA) is our annual 12-month programme for talented and aspiring senior directors, managers or department heads nominated by our retail partners. It’s our practical way of helping to build the pipeline of all the amazing future CEOs out there.

Be Inspired is for everyone and we know that not everyone wants to be a retail CEO, but for those who do, the SLA is a unique, ready-made networking group for those with aspirations of the boardroom. We want to give our academy members new contacts, essential insights and fresh perspectives.


Fujitsu is the Senior Leadership Academy headline partner


NSU is the learning and development partner of the Senior Leadership Academy

Throughout our one-year programme they will meet new peers and ambassadors at our academy workshops, hear from inspirational speakers and benefit from free educational passes at our flagship events, Retail Week Connected and the Be Inspired virtual conference on June 8.

We are delighted to announce that global tech organisation Fujitsu has become headline partner of the SLA 2021. Fujitsu’s backing of the SLA demonstrates its commitment to being an active participant in driving progressive change and equality in retail.

Find out more here.


Themes to be explored at our 2021 SLA workshops will include:

  • Being an authentic leader
  • Playing to your strengths
  • Being brave and tackling difficult conversations
  • Managing the highs and lows
  • Navigating your team through a period of change

“I’ve learnt so much from the sessions that I’ve adapted and use in my day-to-day. I genuinely feel this has helped me in so many ways and will continue to”

Alice Boaten, M&S designate head of region, member of the 2018/2019 SLA cohort and Woman of the Year at the 2019 Everywoman in Retail Awards

If you’re a retailer interested in the Senior Leadership Academy, please email

Feedback from the 2018/2019 Academy cohort:

  • “I LOVED last week’s academy. Thanks for the support in getting me to these sessions.” – AS Watson 
  • “Thank you for organising all these great events for the last 12 months. I have enjoyed every single one of them!” – Carpetright
  • “I thought the session was amazing and I took a lot from it. The panel was very inspiring.” – Argos
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. Thank you for having me in the academy.” – Matalan