Businesswomen are being urged to put modesty aside and enter a major award, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary.
The Deputy Mayor of London, Joanne McCartney, joined past winners, business leaders, and sponsors and directors behind the Women of the Year Awards 2017 to launch this year’s competition at the House of Lords.
Previous winners include Julie White, of D-Drill, which is based near Coventry, Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Hilary Devey CBE and the current title holder, Jacqui O’Donovan, who runs London-based O’Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd.
Last year’s shortlist included women from a range of sectors from all corners of the UK and director Judy Groves said it was important for girls and young women to see role models in business.
Groves said: “Recent research shows that many girls and young women tend to put limitations on what they believe they can achieve from a very early age so it’s absolutely vital that they get to see the outstanding female achievers we have in this country.
“Businesswoman of the Year has done a great job over the past 35 years to ensure that some of our most talented female entrepreneurs, executives and company owners are honoured and held up as role models.
“Many businesswomen can feel modest about their achievements and don’t, necessarily, want to shout about it. We would urge them to put that to one side in order to allow us to celebrate what they have achieved and inspire the future generation.”
Nominations are now open for the event and the final will be staged on Friday, 6 October, at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel at the NEC when the Businesswoman of the Year will be announced along with the Woman of Achievement 2017, which last year was awarded to Margaret Aspinall CBE.
The event is also supported by key industry organisations including the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), the Royal Aeronautical Society, the CBI and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Joanne McCartney added: “These awards highlight the entrepreneurship, endeavour and determination of businesswomen across the country and will act as an inspiration for hundreds of thousands of women who are doing incredible things every day.
“I’d like to see as many women as possible enter this competition so we can celebrate their fantastic achievements. I also urge both men and women to suggest names of businesswomen who deserve recognition.
“In the meantime, the Mayor and I will keep spreading the message to businesses that it is crucial that they remove any barriers to women by adopting the highest possible standards for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality.”
Last year’s winner, Jacqui O’Donovan, said: “I was extremely honoured to be named Businesswoman of the Year. It was a complete surprise and to be recognised as an inspiration to others is very flattering.
“The awards epitomise the spirit of supporting and inspiring other women, and I hope my success has had a positive impact on businesswomen across the country who are committed to making a difference in their industries and fulfilling their own potential.”
Debbie, Baroness Stedman Scott, said: “Role models for young women and girls should come from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries.
“So it’s absolutely right that we honour and celebrate businesswomen in this way from right across the UK.”
Anyone wanting to apply for the award or nominate an inspirational businesswoman should email Judy Groves via Sharon@rigbygroupplc.com
Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the prestigious 35th anniversary of the awards luncheon event should email firstname.lastname@example.org
To engage on social media, use #WOTY2017, #makeithappen or #inspirationalwomen
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