Gender equality still remains elusive despite it being 100 years since women were first given the right to vote in this country, according to the boss of a leading women’s business network.
Griselda Togobo, CEO of Forward Ladies, warned that while progress had been made there was still a lot more work to be done on equality.
She made the comments as Forward Ladies hosted the grand final of its national awards in Leeds.
Ms Togobo said: “It is 100 years since women first got the right to vote in the UK, but gender equality remains elusive.
“Whilst 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 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.”
Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK, was the keynote speaker at the event. She herself was a winner at the awards back in 2017.
Ms Keeling said: “The awards are a reminder of the importance of celebrating personal and team successes and recognising talent.
“Being part of the awards gave me a renewed commitment to making real progress on diversity and inclusion in my teams. It was a reminder to honour my personal and professional commitments to influence tangible change.”
Bradford-born technology entrepreneur Alex Depledge was named Business Woman of the Year at the ceremony today.
She co-founded Hassle.com back in 2012, The business was sold for £27m in 2015. She has now started Resi, a groundbreaking online architectural service that is revolutionising how Britons renovate.
Ms Depledge also triumphed in the Start Up category. Other winners included Jacqui Hall, managing director of Harrogate-based CNG, who won the Corporate Leader award.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Lady Brenda Hale. Lady Hale was born in Leeds and grew up in Richmond, North Yorkshire. She’s the first female president of the Supreme Court.
The awards, which took place at The Royal Armouries in Leeds, were hosted by acclaimed broadcaster, entrepreneur and author Arti Halai.
Full list of winners:
Business Woman of the Year: Alex Depledge
Male Agent of Change: Paul Polman
Emerging Leader: Lobna El Shafie
Corporate Leader: Jacqui Hall
Stem Leader: Julianne Antrobus
Start Up: Alex Depledge
Young Entrepreneur: Hannah Uruci
Female Entrepreneur: Sophie Milliken
Charity and Social Enterprise: Victoria Burnip
Mentor of the Year: Carol Ann Whitehead
Public Sector, Academia and Not For Profit: Sarah Hainsworth
Lifetime Achievement: Lady Hale, President of The Supreme Court