Now in its ninth year, the awards are designed to recognise and promote the pipeline of female talent in the UK, across a diverse range of industry sectors.
In what promises to be an impactful event, Forward Ladies Managing Director Griselda Togobo revealed the names of 53 female business changers in the Yorkshire, North East and Scotland region, who will compete across 11 categories, including business, not for profit, technology and more.
Ms Togobo said: “The FL National Awards & Summit will celebrate exceptional women and the contribution they make to the UK economy. Leaders, men and women will be brought together to discuss the transformative role that companies can play to support gender equality and the role a diverse work force will play in advancing UK competitiveness. Events like this are essential as we strive for gender parity and inclusive leadership.”
The shortlisted applicants will be invited to an awards lunch on Friday September 14 at the Crowne Plaza, Newcastle.
The winners from this, and the other regional finals, will then be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in November, followed by the National Grand Final in Leeds on December 7.
Jennifer Crawley, UK Head of Performance for Small Business Banking, HSBC UK and chief judge said: “We’re proud to be working with Forward Ladies as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting women in business across the UK.
Each year we are inspired by the number of high-calibre entries, and this year has highlighted the exceptionally talented businesswomen we have in the UK.
“These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country and play a critical role in our economy. HSBC will be supporting them every step of the way, enabling their businesses to thrive and prosper in the long term.”
Top winner last year was Susanna Lawson.
Visit The Yorkshire Post website to see the full list of shortlisted companies.
The full shortlist for the Yorkshire, North East and Scotland region is:
Corporate Leader Category:
Alix Bolton, Visualsoft, Head of People; Emily Blain, Tenet Group Ltd, Head of Human Resources; Sally Hart, George F. White, Operations Director; Ann Hough, Huddersfield Town Football Club, Operations Director
Diversity Champion of the Year Category:
Noor Ali, Morrisons, Senior Buying Manager - World Foods; Anita Pace, Pace Communications, Managing Director; Charlotte Armitage, YAFTA, Managing Director; Clare Talbot-Jones, Talbot Jones Risk Solutions, Business Development Director; Rachel Hardcastle, Castle Communication Services, BSL Trainer; Sophie Milliken, Smart Resourcing Solutions Ltd
Emerging Leader Category:
Georgia Jackson, Players Cars, Sales director; Hannah Boyes, Morrisons, Store Manager; Helen Roberts, Telefonica UK (known as O2), Principal Bid Manager & Team Leader; Ayah Alfawaris, N-ERGY, Energy Research Analyst
Female Entrepreneur of the Year Category:
Emma Pearmaine, Ridley & Hall Solicitors, Managing Director and Family & Matrimonial Lawyer; Jenny McCreary, Sew Confident Ltd, Director; Jill Wood, Signum Facilities Management Ltd, Managing Director; Jillian Thomas, Future Life Wealth Management,
Managing Director; Michelle Harding-Terry, Steetley Corner Group, HR Director; Sharon
Needle, Needle Partners, Managing Partner
International Entrepreneur of the Year Category:
Rebecca Bonnington, Shirlaws (UK), Partner; Becky Harris, The Curious Travel Company, Director
Public Sector/Academia/Not for Profit Sector Category: Alex Miles, West Yorkshire Learning Providers Ltd, Managing Director; Gemma Claughton, Northern Star Academies Trust, School Improvement-Subject Leader and Senior Leader; Helen Mills, Age UK Northumberland, CEO; Sophie Patton, Connect Yorkshire, COO
Social Entrepreneur of the Year Category: Jackie Irwin, Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre, Co-Founder; Laura N Young, Teapot Trust, Founder and CEO; Fiona Martin, Friends of Alfie Martin, Chairperson; Linda Kirk, Just for Women Centre, Founder/Director; Vicky Morrell, A Little Something Back, CIC founder & project manager
Start Up of the Year Category:
Angela Little, aphroditehairsystem, owner; Becky Harris, The Curious Travel Company, Director; Ellie MacDonald, MacComms, Founder and managing director; Gemma Murray, TechyTots, Founder and Director; Julie Bickerdyke, Not Just an FD Ltd, Managing Director; Sarah Puckett, Puckett’s Pickles, Owner/Founder
STEM Leader Category:
Emma Nicholson, TSP, Senior Construction Project Manager; Kath Topping, ARM Ltd, Technical Director (Distinguished Engineer); Vanessa Kilburn, O2 UK Bid Director; Victoria Woodings, Principle Group, Global CEO
STEM Rising Star Category:
Abigail McAlpine, SocialSPI, Project developer; Adele Mitchinson, Venture Stream, Design Consultant; Jane Thirlwell, Aviva, Senior Project Manager; Katie Vincent, Nine Software Company, Test Lead; Melissa Hendry, VST Enterprises, Operations Director; Naomi Morrow, Sunderland Software City (Digital Catapult NETV), Head of Innovation
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Category:
Jenny Boguslawski, Konnect Recruitment Ltd, Managing Director; Jordan McCabe, Aztec Diamond Equestrian, CEO; Laura Jackson, Laura’s Confectionery Ltd, Managing Director; Louise Hannington, Lou’s Thread Interiors, Owner; Sharnie Richards, Excel Dance Owner & Founder; Tamma Carel, Imvelo Ltd, Director Senior Environmental Consultant