Dame Mary Perkins DBE FBOA, Co-Founder, Specsavers Optical Group

Mary Perkins Specsavers

Follow your dreams and have self-belief, determination and be prepared to challenge.

A qualified and registered optometrist for more than 50 years, Dame Mary plays an active role in 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.

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 inscribed on Coat of Arms in “Work with Passion”.

Top tips

  • Treat others as you would wish to be treated
  • Customers are at the centre of everything we do, the lifeblood of our business
  • Help your staff to be the best they can be
  • Never be complacent and rest on your laurels
  • Treat everyone equally and recognise people for a job well done
  • Be open and approachable, pay attention to the views and opinions of everyone in the team


the most valuable piece of advice SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU

Be MAD every day - Make a difference.

Your key piece advice to someone looking to progress

Follow your dreams and have self-belief, determination and be prepared to challenge.