Inspirational leaders have the chance to shine at Forward Ladies awards

ONE of the country's leading organisations dedicated to the training and development of women in business is seeking nominations for its annual awards.

Speakers at the Forward Ladies Women in Business award have included Petra Wetzel   Picture Bruce Rollinson
Speakers at the Forward Ladies Women in Business award have included Petra Wetzel Picture Bruce Rollinson

The Forward Ladies national awards and summit honours female entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to Britain. The Yorkshire Post is media partner for the awards.

Griselda Togobo, the managing director of Forward Ladies, said: “We’re looking for exceptionally talented women in business to share their stories and tell us why they deserve to be recognised. The national awards and summit showcases the very best female entrepreneurs, their achievements, their true potential and the positive impact they make on our economy.

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“The awards categories allow a broad range of companies and individuals to participate and reflect the ever increasing female business leaders in all sectors.

“This offers a great opportunity for Forward Ladies to encourage, support and develop these aspiring business leaders as they realise their career and personal ambitions.”

The regional awards for Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland are being held in Newcastle on Friday September 14 at the Crowne Plaza in the Stephenson Quarter.

Women can either self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague or business associate on the Forward Ladies website.

The deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday June 8 ahead of the regional awards ceremonies, hosted by BBC journalist and presenter Rebecca Barr.

Winners from each regional heat, which will also be held in Birmingham, London and Manchester, will then go through to a grand final national awards ceremony on Friday December 7 in Leeds.

Last year’s overall winner was Susanna Lawson, co-founder and director of OneFile, which provides learning software for vocational training.

Ms Lawson said: “Winning the Forward Ladies’ overall title was a heart-stopping moment.

“The atmosphere in the room was fantastic, and it was truly inspiring to hear the nominees’ stories.

“They all deserved to win, each one achieving great things with their business, and yet I never dreamed the host would be announcing my name as the winner.”

HSBC is once again confirmed as the headline sponsor of the awards and will be part of the judging panel.

Jennifer Crawley, HSBC UK head of Performance, Business Banking, added: “This is the fifth year that HSBC has worked with Forward Ladies as part of our ongoing commitment supporting women in businesses across the UK.

“We’re looking forward to reviewing this year’s entries and recognising the outstanding women entrepreneurs that are a critical part of the economy.”

Speakers at previous national awards finals have included Petra Wetzel, inset, the founder and MD of the WEST Brewery in Glasgow, which she grew from a self-contained German style beer hall and brewery into a major player.

In 2016, Ms Wetzel urged the audience to do something they really enjoyed. She added: “You (have to) love your job. I still get out of bed, even if it’s very early in the morning, and I’m raring to go. I always think, What’s coming behind the next corner?’ Who am I meeting today? Who is going to enrich my life?”

Nominations for the awards can be made at before Friday June 8 with regional finalists announced in July.