Dame Mary Perkins

Co-founder and board member of Specsavers Group, entrepreneur, a leading figure in optometry and audiology. A qualified and registered optometrist for more than 50 years, Dame Mary plays an active role in the business in a number of areas including driving customer service standards, championing values and shaping corporate responsibility. Dame Mary is passionately involved with a number of national and local charities and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007, and also won most outstanding Woman in Business Award at National Business Awards. In 2017 she received the EY Lifetime Achievement Award. Dame Mary is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and a Freeman of the City of London.

Founded by Dame Mary and Doug Perkins in 1984, Specsavers is a Partnership of over 2,800 partners worldwide, committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve.

Group revenue was £2.61 billion 2017/2018 with 1,978 optical and hearing centres, 32,500+ employees with 20.5 million spectacle frames sold last year, 500 million contact lenses and 340,000 Hearing Aids.

The 2,800+ partners ensures that the opticians and audiologists who run their stores can concentrate on delivering what they do best – provide expert eye and hearing care to their customers, whether in a store or in their own home or care home through the Specsavers domiciliary service.

Specsavers continues to set ambitious goals and develop our long-term framework, which outlines where we aim to be as a business by 2025. We are in the midst of a decade when eye health is transforming at unprecedented speed. These disruptive changes present an opportunity for us to support ways in which ophthalmologists and optometrists can work together to transform eye health and offer broader eyecare services to our customers.

Dame Mary places huge value on putting people first and encourages all areas of the business to support their local community. She is an Ambassador for Vision Aid Overseas, patron of many charities such as everywoman, Kidscape, British Citizen Awards, Soundseekers, Changing Faces, an Officer of the Order of St John, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Visioncare for the Homeless, Hearing Dogs, Action Aid.

She was born in Bristol, educated at Westbury-on-Trym C of E primary school and then Fairfield Grammar School (both no longer existing). Enjoys walking, cycling, singing in a choir, Qi Gong, reading, 7 grandchildren and work! Motto inscribe on Coat of Arms is “Work with Passion”.