Finalists 2018

The Women in Business Awards Region

Rising Star

This award is designed to recognise emerging talent. This award is open to women who have not only already made a mark in business, but are also ‘women to watch’ in terms of future contribution. The winning entrant might be a future leader, or already head of a team; she could be just starting out in business, forming her own company, or quickly rising through the ranks.

The judges will be looking for examples as evidence, either through their activities or achievements which they have brought about for themselves or others.  This can be submitted by the nominee herself, or as testimonials from colleagues. 


  • Amy Golding, Opus Talent Solutions
  • Sarah Hitchcox, Anesco
  • Gemma Hood, Volume
  • Aduke Onafowokan, Thrive Consulting
  • Alexandra Rijnoveanu, Microsoft
  • Nina Smith, Shoosmiths

Enlightened Employer – supporting women in the workplace

In addition to the general criteria, judges are seeking nominations from, or on behalf of companies of any size that have shown exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace. They will be able to demonstrate a forward-thinking, proactive and creative approach to enabling women to realise their full potential. This could include taking action in areas such as recruitment, employee recognition and development, flexible working, helping women returning to the workplace or any other ways of creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture which enables women to excel.


  • Get Ahead VA
  • KPMG
  • Moorcrofts
  • Shoosmiths
  • Sky

Champion of Change – for women in the workplace

This award recognises both women and men who have demonstrated their ability and commitment to raising the value of diversity and inclusiveness in their work environment. The successful candidate will be able to show how their ability to influence or bring about cultural change in the workplace has given rise to more support for gender diversity and equality. 

Open to both men and women, entrants can be at any level in the business. 


  • Nicki Aitken, HPE Pointnext
  • Sadie Groom, Bubble Agency
  • Emma Illingworth, SSE
  • Kaz Mortimer, Shorefield Holidays
  • Kate Vandenberg, Sky
  • Paul Barry-Walsh, Fredericks Foundation

Woman Business Owner of the Year

Judges are seeking nominations from entrepreneurial women who have founded and are running their own company; women who are showing exceptional abilities in leading and mentoring other women; and who have led their businesses to achieve significant results in the past year.


  • Lauren Atkins, The Malins Group
  • Stephanie Hall, Uptake Strategies
  • Rebecca Newenham, Get Ahead VA
  • Jo Randall, St Magnus Hospital
  • Leena Sankla, Solutions 4 Health

Board Level & Senior Executive of the Year

This award is open to women at board or senior executive level who have not only achieved personally in their organisation, but have made a significant difference to the role of women in business within and/or outside their organisation over the past 12 months. The winning candidate will have demonstrated their attitude and commitment to developing, mentoring and promoting other women in their roles in business, they may have influenced cultures and championed change in their organisations to support gender diversity and gender equality.


  • Dr Sarah Cooper, CLEAN
  • Teri Hunter, Moorcrofts
  • Jaki Mitchell, Crowe

Start-Up of the Year

This award recognises a female entrepreneurial business owner who has been in business for up to three years, and in the past 12 months has shown outstanding leadership. The business has demonstrated high levels of innovation, service, potential and offers opportunity to all.


  • Jane Arthern, FMCGenie
  • Joy Foster, TechPixies
  • Sarah Jordan, YOU Underwear
  • Suzy Oliver, Mothers of Enterprise

Spotlight on Women in STEM

This year’s spotlight award is for recognition of those women who have achieved significant success through either, science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) in their industry, on an individual basis, or through their leadership of others. As a result of their performance they have positively impacted their organisations and been a role model for women entering into these sectors.


  • Jackie Doherty, Monodraught
  • Dr Claire Donoghue, 3M
  • Emma Friendship-Kilburn, Emm-Power
  • Gemma Hood, Volume
  • Karin Meurk-Harvey, Vodafone Group Enterprise
  • Roni Savage, Jomas Associates
  • Katherine Spice, CV-Library

Role Model of the Year

This award is open to any woman at any level of their organisation. The winner will be someone who has inspired, enabled or supported other women inside or outside their business in a significant way. 

Their influence will have had a notable impact on those women and possibly their business. The judges will be looking for evidence of where, what, when and how they have achieved this in the past 12 months.


  • Luana Clapis, Mintec
  • Gemma Hood, Volume
  • Kate Lester, Diamond Logistics
  • Rebecca McAllister, Savills
  • Michelle McLeish, SSE
  • Pauline Murray, SSE
  • Laura-Jane Turner, Centerprise