First Women Awards: tonight’s the night


Victoria Buyer, commercial director, Quantum Pharmaceutical

Victoria is an impeccable example of how a female scientist can engender respect in a traditionally male industry, and make the journey to senior management accessible to future generations. In a previous commercial role, Victoria was the only female, only non-Muslim at senior level working within a male dominated organisation in the Middle East. She went on to thrive, improving basic rights for staff. Today, at Quantum, she generates multimillions in profits and is strongly committed to the Quantum Cares campaign.

Debra Charles, managing director, Novacroft

Debra leads Novacroft, the ground-breaking smart-ticketing business that enables millions of bus and train passengers to access cheaper travel throughout the UK. With clients such as Transport for London, Novacroft was the first organisation to introduce same-day card production from applications processed online.

Farideh Honary, professor, Lancaster University

No doubt that this space scientist is pushing the boundaries. Farideh is professor of Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science at Lancaster University and vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society. She has had an exceptional career, making outstanding contributions to both engineering and science. Her outreach activities have enabled more than 40,000 members of the public to get involved in her research.

Liv Sandbaek, managing director, Accenture

Liv is the most senior woman within Accenture’s 140,000-strong global technology practice (which generates approximately 70 per cent of the group’s revenues); and the first female member of the practice’s leadership team. In the UK, she leads the Accenture Women’s Network, which supports more than 3,000 women; and is an active participant in the government’s ?Girls in IT” campaign, which aims to increase the number of female IT professionals.

Keren Winmill, CEO, Biotec Services International

Another candidate breaking new ground in the pharmaceuticals sector. With more than 30 years experience in the industry, Keren is CEO of Biotec Services International, a company specialising in temperature-sensitive clinical and commercial supply and logistics. In 2010, Keren led a management buyout of the company, and turnover has since jumped to ?7.4m. The Bridgend-based business is a Queen’s Award winner for International Trade, opening up markets from Israel to the US and Japan.

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