First Women Awards 2015: Outstanding crop of female business leaders feature in shortlist

The 11th outing of the First Women Awards has drawn closer with the announcement of this year’s shortlist, featuring 12 categories and a lifetime achievement award.

Having served as a benchmark for recognition of senior-level business women and professionals over the last decade, the awards this year are filled with no less examples of inspirational stories, triumph in the face of adversity and global leadership case studies.

Taking place on 11 June and hosted by TV broadcaster Clare Balding, the ultimate decision on the winners will come down to an illustrious judges panel populated by business leaders including?Vin Murria, Jean Stephens, Angela Mortimer and Morella Kayman.

The First Women ? Business of the Year category shortlist was compiled by collating women who entered the awards. This year saw a 40 per cent uplift in nominations, meaning the strongest shortlist the event has ever seen. The shortlisted companies for Business of the Year will be profiled in the next few weeks. However, we have opened the vote now and are looking for your vote on who should win.

Previous winners at the First Women Awards have included the entrepreneurial duo behind and Thea Green of Nails Inc.?Supported by the CBI, the awards have also brought together female luminaries such as Juliet Davenport of Good Energy, author Annabel Karmel, former Dragons? Den investor Hilary Devey and MITIE Group CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith.

Complementing submissions for women holding positions at bluechip companies such as EY, Aon, Dell UK, Accenture and MasterCard are those leading smaller fast-growth businesses including Mubaloo, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Blippar and KweekWeek. The shortlist also becomes increasingly diverse when the likes of the Royal Navy, George Best Belfast City Airport and Transport for Greater Manchester are included.

To find out more about the awards or to book your table, visit

The full shortlist for the 2015 First Women Awards:

First Women – Business of the Year:

  • Proctor & Gamble
  • EY
  • Arup
  • Mitie
  • John Lewis

First Women of Engineering:

  • Joanne Sui, civil engineer, London Bridge Associates
  • Dawn Ohlson, UK director of systems, Thales
  • Nazneem Grogan, technical director, LondonWaste
  • Denise Smiles, CEO, OMS (Optical Metrology Services)
  • Samantha Hodgson, senior quality engineer (capability), BAE Systems
  • Sarah Moseley, director of hazardous waste services, Veolia

First Women of Manufacturing:

  • Julie Deane, founder and CEO, The Cambridge Satchel Company
  • Sarah Brown, founder and director, Pai Skincare
  • Sian Holt, MD, Fudge Kitchen
  • Sylvia Hopwood, MD, The Recycle Works
  • Joan Jones, general manager, Granfit Holdings
  • Marika Hillson, finance director, NPS

First Women of Tourism & Leisure:

  • Abi Wright, co-founder and managing director,
  • Katy Best, commercial and marketing director, George Best Belfast City Airport
  • Sally Winfield, COO, Accord Group
  • Anabel Fielding, CEO, Quintessentially Events
  • Juliana Delaney, CEO, Continuum Attractions
  • Rimla Akhtar, inclusion and diversity consultant, Rimjhim Consulting

First Women of Finance:

  • Emilia Chachulova, managing partner, MASECO Private Wealth
  • Amy Nauiokas, founder and president, Anthemis
  • Lynn Rattigan, COO, EY
  • Teresa Brewer, MD, Aon
  • Louise Wilson, co-founder, Abundance NRG
  • Joanne Smith, CEO, The Consulting Consortium/Recordsure

First Women of Science & Technology:

  • Yvonne Baker, CEO,
  • Sarah Shields, executive director and UK general manager, Dell UK
  • Edwina Dunn, CEO, Starcount
  • Anastasia Emmanuel, director UK technology and design, Indiegogo
  • Amanda Follit, head of digital operations services, Amaze
  • Trisha Patel, creative director, Monitise Create

First Women of Media:

  • Catherine Bray, editorial director and company director, Film 4 and Loop productions (respectively)
  • Martina Mercer, editor, Sunday Women Magazine and founder, Consumer Voice
  • Mandeep Rai, CEO, Creative Visions Global
  • Emma Kane, CEO, Redleaf Polhill
  • Shivvy Jervis, Creator-Host ‘Digital Futures’, innovation hub editor and Head of Digital Media, Telefonica
  • Helen Gammons, programme director, Henley Business School

First Women of Retail & Consumer:

  • Leena Nair, leadership and organisation development and global head of diversity and inclusion, Unilever
  • Faye Speedie, chief sales officer, Tangle Teezer
  • Marnie Millard, group CEO, Nichols
  • Jackie Eades, managing director, Briers
  • Julianne Ponan, CEO and owner, Creative-Nature
  • Lee Dancy, MD, Barking Mad

First Women of the Built Environment:

  • Sadie Morgan, director and founding partner, dRMM
  • Bernadette Lord, commercial director, DSG
  • Louise Brooke-Smith, president, RICS
  • Sue Emms, architect director, BDP
  • Helen Moore, MD, City & Country
  • Julie Wood, global leader programme and project management, Arup

First Women of Public Service:

  • Safia Minney, founder and CEO, People Tree
  • Helen Milner, CEO, Tinder Foundation
  • Laura Dietz, rtm322 engineering authority, Royal Navy
  • Rona Kotecha, director, Mara Foundation and Mara Women
  • Dame Asha Khemka, principal and CEO, West Nottinghamshire College Group
  • Catherine Rushforth, director, Catherine Rushforth & Associates

First Women of Business Services:

  • Corinne Levey, business and system integration manager, Accenture
  • Judy Ginsberg, global director of clients and industries, White & Case
  • Debbie White, CEO, Sodexo UK and Ireland
  • Lesley Batchelor, director general, Institute of Export
  • Claire Edmunds, CEO, Clarify
  • Emily Kettle, MD, Facts International

First Women ? Entrepreneurship:

  • Jude Ower, CEO and founder, Playmob
  • Jessica Butcher, co-founder and director, Blippar
  • Kate Lester, founder and CEO, Diamond Logistics
  • Lisa Scott, sales and marketing director, Gourmet Gadgetry
  • Tina Mashaalahi, co-founder and COO, KweekWeek
  • Julie Fowler-Drake, MD, Talbots

First Women ? Young Achiever:

  • Jules Coleman, chief product officer and co-founder,
  • Emma Hagan, chief risk officer, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Jen Macrae, director global strategy mobile, MasterCard
  • Sarah Weller, managing director, Mubaloo
  • Amanda White, head of rail, Transport for Greater Manchester
  • Nina Devani, director, DevaniSoft

Share this story

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Send this to a friend