Since its launch in 2005 the First Women Awards have grown in influence and impact, leading the way in recognising and celebrating the many achievements of exceptional women.

Recipients of these awards are women from various sectors, from public service to business owners, who have achieved their success against all odds. These female trailblazers have broken glass ceilings, they work hard to remove barriers for other women and they are disrupting established industry norms through innovation. 

With longstanding support from the CBI, prominent industry organisations and small businesses, the First Women Awards continues to be a distinguished programme that inspires the next generation, fuels entrepreneurial passion and galvanises women to be a force for change.

Your 2017 host

  • This award gives you a sense of extra determination. You need stamina to always continue to make the world better for girls and women, which is what I want. The encouragement helps, the recognition helps, and you feel that you are being given support

    Jude Kelly CBE Artistic Director, The Southbank Centre

2017 Winners & Finalists

First Women
 Built Environment

The winner of this award is a woman with incredible potential and motivation to achieve greatness in her field of the Built Environment. She will have had several significant achievements, contributing to her field in a distinctive and innovative fashion.


  • Louise Hardy, Sirius Minerals 


  • Perm Saini, Claremont Property Group
  • Michelle Greeff, Hobs Studios 
  • Diane Hart, L&Q 
  • Karen Temple, NPS Group
  • Anne McNamara, Shine Bid Services 
  • Valerie Bannister, Your Move 

First Women
 Engineering & Manufacturing
Sponsored By:

The First Woman of Engineering & Manufacturing will most likely have overcome the odds to be a strong female force in a typically male-dominated field. She will be a role model, with great success behind her, and showing promise for the future.


  • Caroline Hargrove, McLaren Applied Technologies 


  • Angie Ma, ASI Data Science 
  • Lisa Birch, Charles Austen Pumps
  • Andrea, Catlow 
  • Anna Wild, Laing O’Rourke 
  • Catalina Quiroga, Sevcon 

First Women
 Retail & Consumer

The winner of this award will be a woman with ambition, drive and charisma. She will have achieved success in the field of retail and/or consumer industries, be at the forefront of innovation and be making a distinctive contribution to a real consumer need.


  • Ali Powell, Fitness First Group 


  • Angela Day, Affordable Car Hire 
  • Annabel Karmel, Annabel Karmel 
  • Anna Kilmurray, Clearscore
  • Sara Davies, Crafter’s Companion
  • Miguelina Gambaccini, Miguelina Inc 
  • Jana Korpova, Smart Currency Exchange

First Women

The First Woman of Media will be ambitious and creative with a ground-breaking spirit. With significant success to date and big goals for the future, she will be a role model for future generations.


  • Verity Brown, The Specialist Works 


  • Anna-Louise Gladwell, AKQA
  • Tracy De Groose, Dentsu Aegis Network 
  • Thalia Droussioti, Global Listings
  • Joanna Carrigan, News UK 
  • Cat Botibol, PD3
  • Jane Anne Hayward, WS Advertising 

First Women
Sponsored By:

The winner of the finance award will be tenacious and outstanding in her field. She will most likely have overcome difficulties to get where she is today, and will be passionate about driving change and supporting diversity and inclusion in the finance industry.


  • Helen Steers, Pantheon Ventures (UK)


  • Anna Sofat, Addidi Wealth
  • Marieke Flament, Circle 
  • Runa Alam, Development Partners International 
  • Elizabeth Raffle, Lloyds Banking Group 
  • Rhonda Ryan, Pavilion Alternatives Group 
  • Gail McManus, Private Equity Recruitment 
  • Gina Miller, SCM Direct 

First Women
 Public Service

The First Woman of Public Service winner will be a dedicated and passionate female at the forefront of the public service industry. Her previous successes will support her drive for future achievements. She will be pioneering and entrepreneurial in spirit.


  • Deborah Cadman, Suffolk County Council 


  • Claire Horton, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home 
  • Christine Roberts, David MacBrayne HR (UK)
  • Fleur Sexton, PET-Xi
  • Nicola Ross, Thames Valley Police 
  • Professor Aisha K. Gill, University of Roehampton 
  • Yasmin Batliwala, WDP
  • Kimberly Richardson, Widows of Opportunity 

First Women
 Tourism & Leisure

The winner of this award will be an inspiring, committed and creative female, at the top of the tourism and leisure industry. She will be making a distinctive and innovative contribution to the field and empowering the next generation through her successes.


  • Abigail Wright, 


  • Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association 
  • Kate McWilliams, easyJet
  • Kate Sullivan, Lonely Planet
  • Clare Wood, MK Gallery  
  • Dale MacPhee, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian 

First Women
 Science & Technology

The winner of this award will be redressing the balance of this male-dominated field; inspiring younger women with her achievements. She will be pioneering, tenacious and committed to her industry as shown through her numerous successes and promise for the future. She will overall be a role model for women in science and technology.


  • Elizabeth Sheldon, Evidence Talks 


  • Resh Sidhu, Framestore  
  • Linda Summerton, Immodulon
  • Sarah Weller, Mubaloo
  • Anne-Marie Imafidon, Stemettes
  • Hayley Sudbury, WERKIN

First Women

New for 2017! The First Woman of Healthcare will be an individual who has been at the forefront of innovation in healthcare. She will be dedicated to the field with high achievements huge personal and professional motivation to succeed. She will be charismatic and ambitious.  She may have overcome difficulties to get where she is, and will subsequently be an inspiring role model for women in this field.


  • Amber Vodegel, Health & Parenting 


  • Penny Overy, Cambridge Care Company
  • Alison Whittaker, Crawford Healthcare
  • Charlotte Summers, Diabetes Digital Media 
  • Jean Rumveye, Medino
  • Jan Flawn, PJ Care 
  • Jan Steward, Ultrasound Direct

First Women
 Business Services
Sponsored By:

The First Woman of Business Services will be a ground-breaking high-achiever with huge personal and professional motivation to succeed. She will be charismatic and ambitious and significant achievements to date. She may have overcome difficulties to get where she is, and will subsequently be an inspiring role model for women in this field.


  • Hayley Johnson, Epos Now 


  • Rachel Barton, Accenture
  • Penelope Warne, CMS Cameron McKenna 
  • Jo Haigh, fds Director Services
  • Yvonne Thomas, Interserve 
  • Ann Harding, Quattro Plant
  • Dawn McCarthy, Rentokil Initial 
  • Trisha Pirie, Scottish Enterprise

First Women
 Entrepreneur of the Year

The winner of this award will have recognised a need, and executed a successful solution to that need in an innovative and distinctive manner. She will be a strong, motivated and charismatic leader, most likely with a compelling personal story.


  • Angela Spang, JUNE Medical 


  • Lisa Scott, Gourmet Gadgetry 
  • Kim Antoniou, Kafoodle
  • Hillary Graves, Little Dish
  • Coleen Wong, Techsixtyfour 

First Women
 Young Achiever of the Year

The winner of this award will be under 35 years of age at the time of the awards ceremony. She will have achieved significant success in her short life with phenomenal potential for the future. She may have overcome the odds to get where she is today, and will be a shining role model to young women in business.


  • Charlotte Pearce, InkPact Marketing


  • Elizabeth Dirth, 2050 Climate Group 
  • Rayner Davies, A&R Cleaning Services
  • Julianne Ponan, Creative Nature
  • Anne Macdonald, Harper Macleod
  • Melba Mwanje, SE1 United 
  • Joelle Dinnage, The Global Art Agency 

First Women
 Disruptor of the Year
Sponsored By:

The First Woman disruptor will be shaking up the industry or profession in which she operates. She may be at the cutting edge of scientific discovery, or transforming complacent markets with innovative ideas, but either way she will be doing so with great success and tenacity.


  • Lilia Stoyanov, Transformify 


  • Maria Harris, Atom Bank
  • Emma Cleveland, Cleveland & Co Associates Limited 
  • Angelica Donati, Houzen
  • Jane Gorick, Packaging Services Europe
  • Victoria Peppiatt, Phrasee
  • Tracey Follows, The Future Laboratory

First Women
 Mentor of the Year

The First Women Mentor of the year will be a male or a female who has gone the extra mile as a mentor of women in business, or young businesses over the past year. The winner will have shown willingness to volunteer their time to supporting one or more new or growing businesses and/or supporting one or more individuals in their chosen career. They will be inspiring and dedicated to diversity and inclusion.


  • Donna Marie Herdsman


  • Elizabeth Filippouli, Global Thinkers Mentors & Global Thinkers Forum
  • Linda Kirk, Just for Women Centre
  • Zandra Lee Moore, Panintelligence
  • Tiffany Kelly, RoundTable Global
  • Aline Santos Farhat, Unilever 

First Women
 Business of the Year

The company to be awarded First Women Business of the Year will be one which has a clear commitment to investment in people, diversity and inclusion. The company will display unique and distinguishing characteristics which set it apart from the rest as a pioneering and dedicated force for change. Judging will be by public vote through partners, Real Business.


  • Capgemini


  • Deloitte
  • EDF
  • IBM
  • KPMG
  • L&Q
  • Simmons & Simmons 

First Women
 Lifetime Achievement Award

This award honours the career and life achievements of one particularly exceptional, ground-breaking woman. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award should represent two key characteristics; demonstrating what is possible for women and supporting the success of other women. She will have a personally inspiring story and will be an exceptional role model to others.



Dame Fiona Caldicott

2017 Judges

  • Jan Flawn

    Chair Founder, P J Care

  • Kate Newhouse

    CEO, Doctor Care Anywhere

  • Katy Moss

    Trent Refractories, Managing Director

  • Jenifer Baxter

    Head of Energy and Environment, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

  • Dale Murray

    Entrepreneur and Investor

  • Hazel Moore

    Co-founder & Chairman, FirstCapital

  • Grace Boswood

    Chief Operating Officer, Design & Engineering, BBC

  • Claudine Collins

    Managing Director UK, MediaCom

  • Carol Rosati

    Founder of Inspire, Harvey Nash

  • Ren Kapur

    CO, X-Forces

  • Jacqueline de Rojas


  • Jason Myers

    CEO, Busaba Eathai

  • Karen Plumb

    Director of Demand & Distribution, Premier Inn & Hub

  • Stephanie Oueda Cruz

    Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Coca-Cola European Partners

  • Caroline White

    CEO YHA, England & Wales

  • Susan Jowett

    Chief Executive Officer, The Spencer Academies Trust

  • Jayne Bryant

    Engineering Director, BAE Systems, Defence Information

  • Virginia Newman

    Ambassador for Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

  • Mark Freed

    CEO, E2W

  • Anabel Fielding

    Group COO, Quintessentially

  • Natalie Campbell

    Director, A Very Good Company

  • Claire Misata

    Global Relationship Manager, BNP Paribas Securities Services

  • Claire Cohen

    Women's Editor, Daily Telegraph

  • Andy Woodfield

    Partner, PwC

  • Linda Luxon

    Consultant Physician, UCL Professor Emeritus of Audiovestibular Medicine

  • Amanda Hook-Brown

    Corporate Operations Strategy Manager, BMW Group UK

  • Marina Bacchiani

    Vice President Issuing, Mastercard

  • Dimitra Christakou

    Memberships Director, WISE Campaign

  • Yvonne Baker

    Chief Executive, National STEM Learning Network

  • Henrietta Jowitt

    Deputy Director General, Commercial, CBI

  • Sarah Maskell MBE

    wing commander, diversity & inclusion , RAF

  • Sarah Matthew

    President of Global Healthcare Practice, Golin

  • Jacqui Miller-Charlton

    Shareholder & Main Board director, Miller International

  • Lara Morgan

    CEO/MD/Owner or investor of several businesses

  • Valerie Owen

    Chair, Swan Housing Asscociation

  • Anouska Ramsay

    Talent Director, Capgemini UK

  • Robyn Wright

    Partner, AT Kearney

2017 Awards Gallery

2017 Drinks Reception Sponsor

2017 Sponsors

2017 Partners

2017 VIP Supporter

2017 Silent Auction Partner

  • "I was inspired by people earlier in my career to do what I have done, so I think awards like this help to inspire others and that’s the most important thing"

    Clare Johnston CEO and Founder, The Up Group