The search is on to discover the women who have been breaking new ground throughout the UK, across all sectors and industries – from science and the professions to media and public service.
The First Women Awards celebrate these achievements and hold them up to inspire the next generation.
Created in 2005 by Real Business and the CBI and held in association with Lloyds Banking Group, the 2014 awards are now open for nominations.
Last year’s awards recognised a host of ‘first women’ who have broken down barriers to achieve great things.
In recognition of her huge charitable contributions, founder of the Alzheimer’s Society Morella Kayman MBE was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award for her work improving the lives of those affected by the disease over the past 34 years.
Other notable winners in 2013 were Judith Hackitt, the first female chair of the Health and Safety Executive, who the judges described as “doing more to promote manufacturing…in the UK than any other woman” and Dawn Elson, the first female head of engineering at Gatwick Airport.
Trailblazing winners from throughout the awards’ history include Laura Lee, founder of the UK’s leading network of cancer support hubs, Maggie’s Centres, and Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, who took the Retail and Consumer award in 2012 for changing the face of how we access independent, creative businesses after setting up Notonthehighstreet.com.
Katja Hall, chief policy director CBI, said:
“A diverse workforce which fully harnesses the talents of women is really important to business success and is a priority issue for the CBI this year.
“We’re proud to support the First Women Awards, which are an excellent source of inspiration for ambitious women.”
Fiona Cannon OBE, diversity & inclusion director, Lloyds Banking Group, said:
“At Lloyds Banking Group we are passionate about promoting the achievements of the women we work with, both our own employees and our customers.
“Our partnership with the First Women Awards means we can help identify and celebrate the very best female talent.
“Many of the UK’s boundary-pushers are women and we believe that helping them to succeed, and shouting about it when they do, will be a huge driver in ensuring that our workplaces are as diverse as the communities we serve.”
Amy Carroll, group editor, Real Deals and Real Business said:
“Though cracks are beginning to appear, there is still very much a glass ceiling to be shattered by today’s working women.
“We are proud to celebrate the achievements of those who are pushing ahead and making their mark in what are often traditionally male-dominated environments. Thanks to these women we will ensure a more equal and inspiring world for the next generation.”
The closing date for entries is Friday April 4, 2014, with the awards ceremony taking place at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on Thursday June 12, 2014.
For information on how to enter the awards, visit http://fwa.realbusiness.co.uk/