Hard-working and inspirational women working in retail are being encouraged to enter the annual Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards.

The awards were created to redress the gender balance in retail management. Although 60% of retail workers are women, fewer than 5% of CEOs are female.

There are eight categories to enter, including Star of the Future, Innovator of the Year, Inspiration of the Year and Leader of the Year. The overall Specsavers Everywoman of the Year award, last year won by Sainsbury's customer director Gwyn Burr, will be presented to an inspirational female whose vision and success are an example to all in the industry.

The 14-strong judging panel includes Karen Hubbard, operations director for Asda.

"Every year these awards uncover stories of inspirational women who are great role models for the industry," said Maxine Benson, co-founder and director of Everywoman. "These women's success will inspire and motivate more young women to consider a career in the sector. These talented women are working in every organisation, and we want to encourage these women and employers to enter."

The awards are open for entry until 11 June. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Gok Wan at The Savoy in London on 14 September. For more information, visit: www.everywoman.com.