The prestigious Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards were back and celebrating their 40th anniversary year.
Established in Nottingham in 1982, raising monies for a charity called The Winged Fellowship Trust.
Since then, it has grown from being a regional ladies luncheon to a national awards ceremony, recognising the achievements of women in business and women that have strived to achieve the unthinkable in the most challenging of circumstances across the country.
Over 600 women attended the event on Friday 1st April at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole where inspirational women were praised for their fantastic entrepreneurship, endeavour, and determination.
Host Arti Halai, broadcaster, entrepreneur, public speaker and author, made some key announcements, introducing the new Women of the Year president, actress Sally Lindsay, the Young Businesswoman of the Year award which will be presented next year and the retirement of Jenny Campbell, who has been a Director of Women of the Year for the past five years and previously on Dragon’s Den.
The number of women in FTSE 100 boardroom roles has jumped to 39.1% from 12.5% 10 years ago, but women make only eight of the chief executives at the UK’s top 100 listed companies, showing that there’s still a way to go.
The Women of Achievement Award was dedicated to the women of the NHS, and presented by Boodles Jewellers and Carmen Watson, Chair of Pertemps Network Group. Businesswoman of the Year was Susanne Linton, CEO of Freestyle, helping brands drive revenue by differentiating through brand experience.
Carol Shanahan OBE received Community Heroine of the Year for providing 500,000 meals to families in deprived areas across the region, particularly Stoke on Trent.
Sally Lindsay said: “It’s a huge achievement standing here celebrating women 40 years on. We’ve been away for two years but it’s nothing short of overwhelming and we thank our sponsors and guests.
“Over 600 guests are in this room and even some men. It’s a testament of the love and support we receive today.
“We need to stick together, and we need days like Women of the Year more than ever before.
“During the pandemic, we saw a 61% surge in calls and contacts logged by the domestic abuse helpline, 78% of redundancies were experienced by women and we saw the UK’s pay gap drop from 17.4 per cent before the pandemic to 15.4 per cent last year.”
It was brilliant to see so many businesswomen at the awards, supporting one another, sharing stories and celebrating each other’s successes.
If you want to find out more, visit https://www.womenoftheyear.org.uk/