Yorkshire on top at Forward Ladies Awards

Keynote speaker Petra Wetzel at the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards are held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
1 December 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Keynote speaker Petra Wetzel at the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards are held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. 1 December 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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A RAFT of the north’s top women in business were honoured at the Forward Ladies awards.

The awards took place at a celebration lunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle before an audience of senior and influential business leaders.

The awards were introduced eight years ago to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the exceptional work and female talent throughout the business community.

Among the Yorkshire winners were Emma Black from Leeds-based Cascade HR, Kate Mallinson at Scribba PR, Zillah Doyle at Mechanical Engineering Ventures in Huddersfield and Nikki Dixon at Asda.

The keynote speaker was Pamela Petty, entrepreneur and board member at the Entrepreneur’s Forum. Ms Petty is the former managing director of Ebac, the UK’s only washing machine manufacturer, and spoke about her personal and professional struggles of succeeding in a male-dominated environment.

Forward Ladies managing director Griselda Togobo said: “This has been a fantastic year for women, and through our National Awards we are once again delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC to showcase the very best women in business in the UK.

“The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, but this year we had a number of outstanding entries and it was a wonderful afternoon of celebration and sharing their remarkable success.

“The standard of all our shortlisted entries was truly exceptional.”

Jennifer Crawley, head of UK performance for HSBC and chief awards judge said; “I am always impressed by such talented businesswomen who enter each year – and this year is no different.

“They play a significant part in the UK economy which is recognised by these awards.

“A very well done to all those who have joined us and provided such inspiration for other entrepreneurs through their ongoing achievements.”

The twelve 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 1.

The awards had HSBC as key sponsor, and are supported by many sector leading businesses including Tastecard, Saville and Virgin Trains East Coast. Regional partners this year are JB Skills, Cascade and The Yorkshire Post.

Ms Mallinson told The Yorkshire Post: “It was a great day celebrating women in business, and I am delighted to have won the Start Up ‘gong’.

“It came as a huge shock as I was shortlisted alongside some hugely successful women in a very crowded category, so I feel privileged and honoured to have been chosen.”

Last year’s winner of the overall title of business woman of the year was presented to Jan Flawn CBE, founder and chair of PJ Care Ltd. - a provider of specialist neurological care and neuro rehabilitation for people with progressive or acquired neurological conditions.

The full list of winners from Yorkshire at this year’s awards was:

Digital Business of the Year - Emma Black, Cascade in Leeds

Inspiring Leader - Leanne Silverwood, Local Care Force in Leeds

International - Zillah Doyle – Mechanical Engineering Ventures in Huddersfield

Rising Star - Nikki Dixon, ASDA in Leeds

SME Emerging - Andrea Eli, Venture Office Supplies in Bingley

Start Up - Kate Mallinson – Scriba PR in Leeds

STEM Leader - Natasha Sayce-Zelem - SKY in Leeds