The Yorkshire, North East and Scotland shortlist unveiled for the FL National Awards & Summit 2018

The FL National Awards & Summit, now in its 9th year and proudly supported by headline sponsor HSBC UK, has announced its anticipated regional shortlist.

The annual National Awards & Summit are designed to recognise and promote the pipeline of female talent in the UK, across a diverse range of industry sectors, which this year is stronger than ever.

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.

Women are not solely responsible for bridging the gender gap in business. So this year, we are delighted to also showcase top ‘male agents of change’ who are championing and leading the drive for diversity and inclusivity in their businesses and the wider community.

Griselda added: “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.

“It’s a 100 years since women got the right to vote in the UK, yet female chief executives in the FTSE 100 are still outnumbered by male bosses earning 77 percent more than their female counterparts.

“Outside the boardroom, women have taken on the world of entrepreneurship with both hands and are creating jobs like never before. We’re delighted with the quality and diversity of the applications we received this year from all sectors and from the most diverse backgrounds.  A huge congratulations to all of our very well-deserving shortlist. We can’t wait to meet them and are very much looking forward to celebrating and sharing their success.”

The shortlisted applicants (outlined below) in each of the categories will be invited to an exclusive awards lunch on Friday 14th September 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 7th December.

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.”

This year’s judges include Sahar Hashemi Founder of Coffee Republic; Linda Plant of The Apprentice; Bill Henry, retired PWC partner and Forward Ladies Advisory Board Member; Rachel Hannan, Angel Investor; Ajaz Ahmed, founder of Freeserve; Catherine Doran, Former CIO of Royal Mail Group and Nigel Lockett, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School.

The Awards are delighted to welcome back HSBC UK as headline sponsor, and are supported by many sector leading businesses including tastecard, Leeds Beckett University, LCF Law, Winburn Glass Norfolk, GKN Aerospace, Carrwood Park, Grant Thornton UK, London North Eastern Railway, Institute of Directors, Yorkshire Post and Miles Smith the Insurer.

The full shortlist for London and the South 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, Director

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 Projects Limited, 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

The mother of all awards #FLNationalAwards & Summit 2018 is coming to your region with events in Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Leeds! It’s an inspirational programme showcasing diversity in business, recognising the doers, trailblazers & inclusive leaders across the UK. Join the conversation and don’t miss out - HERE.

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