Barbara Spicer named Female Leader of the Year


Plus Dane Housing’s Chief Executive Barbara Spicer has been named Female Leader of the Year and has dedicated her award to all the women who inspire her.

Barbara scooped the title at the Downtown Liverpool in Business’ fifth annual Women in Business awards, which celebrates female entrepreneurs and business leaders from across Merseyside.

The awards recognise the achievements of women across the city who have created successful ventures and contributed to economic growth.

Judges commended the inspirational leader for her commitment to giving young people opportunities in the workforce and for wanting to change things for the better – to ensure her business can survive and thrive in challenging economic times.

On being named the winner Barbara, who was joined at the ceremony by the young female apprentices at Plus Dane, said:

“It’s fantastic to win this award for our apprentices. As a leader I feel passionately about nurturing talent and especially about bringing young people into the workforce and giving them the tools and space to grow.

“I hope that I’m a future role model to our young females - to show them that hard work and determination pays off.”

Not one to shy away from hard work, Barbara left school after her O Levels and has had lots of opportunities to ‘learn on the job’, working her way up from a ‘tea girl’ at Knowsley Council and moving on to work at CDS Housing, before going on to become chief executive of Salford Council and the Skills Funding Agency, then taking the helm at Plus Dane Housing.

She has always been a big believer in helping people into skills and employment and was awarded a CBE in 2015 for her services to skills and education.

This firm belief in giving people life-changing opportunities has never left her and last year she firmed up her commitment by taking on a record 18 apprentices in one recruitment drive at Plus Dane, and will be seeking to create more apprenticeships in 2017.

Her commitment to ensuring people have a ‘good home’ and ‘job prospects’ are the driving force behind her future plans for Plus Dane Housing, which is one of the reasons she was awarded the Business Leader of the Year title.