Those generous event sponsors – Barclays, Deloitte, Blake Morgan, and GCS – were roundly applauded and thanked. “Without their support, tonight would not be happening,” said Murray on behalf of guests, award judges and the organising team from The Business Magazine.
The quality of nominations this year was “absolutely outstanding,” said Murray, with extraordinary stories of women running businesses in sectors traditionally dominated by men; women creating enterprises after life-changing personal challenges; women using their own experiences to help and mentor others.
The judging panel’s difficult task of deciding upon finalists in most cases involved telephone interviews to back up the written nominations, but eventually 22 finalists in four awards categories were selected.
“It’s a cliché, I know, but nonetheless true, that all of the finalists are winners – all of you here tonight deserve to be called outstanding women in your own right.”
Fittingly, the host presenter for the evening was also a highly successful businesswoman – Nadine Dereza. Not only has she presented on Sky and BBC, but she became Financial Journalist of the Year while working for the FT, and now she chairs, moderates and runs events globally across many sectors.