Forward Ladies to honour female entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to Britain

The brightest and best entrepreneurs from around Britain will gather in Leeds later this year to celebrate the vital economic role played by women.

Susanna Lawson winner of the Business Women of the Year award at the Forward Ladies National Awards, New Dock Hall,Leeds.1st December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

The Forward Ladies national awards and summit honours female entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to Britain.

Forward Ladies’ managing director Griselda Togobo said: “It is 100 years since women first got the right to vote in the UK, but gender equality remains elusive.

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“While we have clearly made progress over the years, our mission to achieve equality and bring diversity to leadership roles is not yet complete.

“That said, this has been another fantastic year for women and that should be celebrated, and through our national awards we are once again delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC UK to showcase the very best women in business here in the UK.

“The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, and our regional shortlists are the everyday heroines, trailblazers and role models who have succeeded despite enormous challenges. They deserve recognition.”

Regional winners from Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland were honoured at an event in Newcastle. The category winners will now take part in a judging day in Manchester in November, before a panel of business leaders, where they will join finalists from regional events in the Midlands, London and the South East, and the North West, Wales and Ireland. The overall national winner will be announced at a grand finale to be held in Leeds on December 7. Last year’s overall winner was Susanna Lawson, co-founder and director of OneFile, which provides learning software for vocational training.

At the regional final, the trophy in the emerging leader category, was presented to Helen Roberts the principal bid manager and team Leader at O2, who is a STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) mentor.

The winner in the corporate category was Ann Hough, Huddersfield Town Football Club’s operations director. She is the longest serving member of

the Huddersfield Town board of directors, having initially joined the club as PA to the club secretary in 1993.

The STEM Leader category was won by Victoria Woodings, the global CEO for the Principle Group and the award in the Social Entrepreneur Category was presented to Jackie Irwin, co-founder of Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre.

The Start Up Category was won by Ellie MacDonald, the founder and managing director of MacComms, while Sharon Needle, the managing partner at Needle Partners, triumphed in the female entrepreneur category. Alex Miles, the managing director of West Yorkshire Learning Providers, picked up the regional award in the public sector / academia / not for profit category.

The winner in the diversity champion Category was Noor Ali, a senior buying manager for World Foods, at Morrisons, who also carries out charity work and mentoring in schools and prisons.

The Yorkshire Post is the media partner for the awards.