Dixons Carphone and Sainsbury’s have pledged to support Retail Week’s Be Inspired campaign, with both businesses signing up as retail partners.

The Be Inspired campaign, which was established last year, aims to promote and nurture female leadership in the retail industry via mentoring sessions, masterclasses and an annual conference.

More than 50 of the industry’s most prominent leaders, including John Lewis managing director Paula Nickolds and M&S boss Steve Rowe, have signed up as Be Inspired ambassadors in a bid to encourage more women into senior roles in retail.

Dixons Carphone UK and Ireland boss Katie Bickerstaffe said: “As an ambassador, I am immensely proud to be part of Retail Week’s Be Inspired campaign and keen to extend its value further into our business.

“I’m passionate about nurturing our talent at all levels and we’ve developed and recruited some fantastic female leaders, so we’re thrilled we can offer them access to these inspirational events and development opportunities.”

Sainsbury’s Bank chief executive and gender inclusion board sponsor Peter Griffiths said: “We want to be the most inclusive retailer, where all our colleagues can fulfil their potential.

“As the board sponsor for gender inclusion, I am keen to maintain an ongoing conversation with our female colleagues about what they want from their careers.”

“I’m proud of all that we’ve achieved so far – from over 2,000 women signing up to our mentoring scheme, to taking active steps to build an inclusive company culture by facing challenging topics like banter through our ‘beyond a joke’ campaign – but there is still some way to go.

“Gender equality will continue to be a priority for us as a business.”

Be Inspired’s biggest-ever conference is taking place on Tuesday, November 14 at 200 Aldersgate. Speakers include IKEA’s UK and Ireland manager Gillian Drakeford and Boots UK managing director Elizabeth Fagan.