EasyJet chief executive, Carolyn McCall, has been voted the most admired leader in the UK.

She is the first woman to secure the title in 25 years of the study, which is compiled by Management Day magazine based on a survey of business leaders.

McCall beat Simon Wolfson, boss of Next, and Andy Street of John Lewis Partnership, to the top slot.

EasyJet was also named as the UK’s fourth most admired company as it marked its 20th anniversary

McCall, who is one of just six female chief executives running a FTSE 100 company, said: “This is a vote of confidence in easyJet. We’ve had some tough external events, which all airlines are dealing with, but we’re in a very strong position, and we’ll remain a winner in short-haul Europe regardless.

“I hope that this will inspire more women, and that they will want to be in business and do it their way, be leaders of companies in their way.

“Man or woman, it’s an honour to get an award like this. I’ve never underestimated how important it is to be a role model for women but I prefer to do that quietly rather than loudly.”