The First Women Awards are the UK’s leading celebration of senior-level business women and professionals

Supported by the CBI since their inception in 2005, the First Women Awards recognise female trailblazers and pioneers in business and the professions.

The Awards celebrate those who have achieved greatness against the odds, as well as those who are working hard to achieve true diversity in the workplace.

Key Dates

Nominations Open Jan 2017

Awards Ceremony June 2017

  • 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
2016 Winners

First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Valerie Owen
    Chair, Swan Housing Asscociation
First Women
 
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 Engineering & Manufacturing

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.



Winner
  • Katy Moss
    Managing director, Trent Refractories
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Sally Preston
    Managing director & founder, Kiddylicious
First Women
 
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 Media

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.



Winner
  • Shamim Sarif
    Novelist, screenwriter, film director, Enlightenment Productions
First Women
 
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 Finance

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.



Winner
  • Hazel Moore
    Chairman, FirstCapital
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Hilary Chipping
    Deputy CEO & director of infrastructure, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Jude Kelly
    Artistic director, Southbank Centre
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Claire Guest
    CEO, Medical Detection Dogs
First Women
 
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 Business Services

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.



Winner
  • Joanne Smith
    CEO, The Consulting Consortium
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Clare Johnston
    Co-CEO, The Up Group
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Pip Murray
    Founder, Pip & Nut
First Women
 
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 Disruptor of the Year

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.



Winner
  • Kate Newhouse
    Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Care Anywhere
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Sarah Matthew
    President. global health practice, Golin
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Dell
First Women
 
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 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.



Winner
  • Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE
    CEO, Mitie Group
2016 Awards Gallery

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  • "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