Twenty women entrepreneurs have been honoured for leading the way in business at The Great British Businesswoman Awards, including Ellie Long from Nottingham who received the Rising Star Award.
Ellie was nominated for her position as an Early Careers Business Partner (EMEA & APAC) at Rolls-Royce where she is passionate about attracting and developing a diverse talent pipeline and enabling individuals to reach their potential, delivering business.
The panel of expert judges commended her ethics and efforts to challenge an industry in need of progress in regard to diversity and inclusion, with the real potential for change being in the early careers space.
The virtual event took place on the 14th and was hosted by Wynne Evans and Carol Vorderman. It saw 122 women recognised for their contributions across a range of categories from construction and creative industries through to engineering, finance and diversity.
The inaugural award ceremony stems from the Great British Businesswoman Series, a collective of industry experts seeking to educate and campaign for recognition and better opportunities for women in business, which launched on International Women’s Day.
The awards intend to acknowledge the persistent challenges for women in business, with only 2% of FTSE 250 CEOs being female, and tackle inequality by inspiring the next wave of women entrepreneurs to take action through the stories of success told of the evening’s shortlisted nominees.
However, the initiative continues beyond awards night and pledges to celebrate trail-blazing businesswomen all year-round in a community-focused programme of forums and webinars.
The awards were created by the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA). Following the success of the GBEA Awards, which in November is set to be the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the UK, the founders felt there needed to be more attention on the influential women dominating the industry, and so brought together a panel of 46 judges to lend expertise across the varied categories.
Hundreds of people watched the live-streamed ceremony, which Francesca James from the Great British Business Woman Awards said reflected the desire for a greater focus on role models in business.
Francesca said: “It was great to hear so many stories of how women are making their mark in various business sectors across the UK. Despite it being 2021, there are still many obstacles facing women, particularly in the senior roles in business, whether that is in funding, salary or corporate representation. I hope that the success of events like this signals a turning point where more women feel comfortable talking about the barriers they face in business, and hopefully, this will lead to more equality across the working world.
“We’re proud to have hosted our inaugural awards, and hope that next year will be even bigger and better, meaning we can continue to share the stories of such inspirational women, across the UK and beyond.”
Out of 600 total nominations, 122 made the shortlist with 20 final awards given out at the ceremony. The winners for each category were:
Construction Businesswoman of the Year:
Tina Patel, Formed Architects & Designers UK Limited
Consumer Goods Businesswoman of the Year:
Anna Brightman, UpCircle Beauty
Creative Industries Businesswoman of the Year:
Sharon Whale, OLIVER Agency
Engineering & Manufacturing Businesswoman of the Year:
Karen Emanuel, Key Production
Entrepreneurial Businesswoman of the Year – Sponsored by Starling Bank:
Julianne Ponan, Creative Nature
Finance Businesswoman of the Year:
Natasha Frangos, Haysmacintyre LLP
Food & Drink Businesswoman of the Year:
Annabel Karmel, Karmel Foods Ltd.
Social Enterprise Businesswoman of the Year:
Sarah Jordan, Y.O.U Underwear
Technology Businesswoman of the Year:
Joanne Dewar, Global Processing Services (GPS)
Transport & Logistics Businesswoman of the Year:
Rachel Houghton, Business Moves Group
Utilities Businesswoman of the Year:
Penelope Hope, Rebel Energy
Young Businesswoman of the Year:
Anneka Wallington, Recognised London Limited
Rising Star Award – Sponsored by mthree:
Ellie Long, Rolls-Royce
Gamechanger in Sport Award:
Claire Nelson, Netball Scotland and Strathclyde Sirens
Team of the Year Award:
Role Model of the Year Award:
Leena Nair, Unilever
Diversity Award – Sponsored by Colt:
Catalina Hernandez, Ernst & Young
Male Advocate of the Year Award
Mark Bennett, Willmott Dixon Interiors
Female Ambassador of the Year Award:
Hannah Ingram-Moore, Maytrix Group / The Captain Tom Foundation
Great British Businesswoman of the Year Award:
Leena Nair, Unilever