First Women Awards: tonight’s the night

BUSINESS SERVICES

Caroline Artis, partner, Business Tax Services, Ernst & Young

On a one-year posting to Tokyo as a young accountant, Caroline suddenly realised she was the only woman above graduate level among 120 people; one of only two non-Japanese nationals; and the most senior woman her hosts had ever met. Once a pioneer… Caroline has been a tax practitioner for 22 years (and a partner at E&Y for 13), advising large companies. In 2005, she founded a workplace network to support and help parents as they try to balance the work/life workload.

Farmida Bi, partner, Norton Rose

Farmida is a partner and the European head of Islamic Finance at international legal practice Norton Rose. She is a leading expert in Islamic finance and has been recognised as one of the five most powerful Muslim women in the UK by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She’s the former Labour parliamentary candidate for Mole Valley.

Bev Hurley, CEO, YTKO & Enterprising Women

Bev has dedicated the past 30 years to promoting entrepreneurial skills in others. Through projects such as Enterprising Women, she has helped thousands of women to bring their business ideas to fruition. As just one example, she transformed Norfolk’s economic performance by creating a crosssector innovation network from scratch. As CEO, she has grown the economic development and business support consultancy YTKO into new markets and regions.

Avril Martindale, IP/IT partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

In the era when intellectual property is so crucial to economic success, Avril is one of Britain’s true leaders. Avril has led Freshfields’ IP/IT practice in various roles – both nationally and globally – between 1999-2009. She’s been described as “the best IP lawyer in Europe.” As well as continuing her role as a senior figure in the London practice, she is co-head of the firm’s Diversity Leadership Committee.

Emer Timmons, president, BT Global Services

The first ever female president of BT Global Services UK, Emer is responsible for a £4bn P&L. A key member of BT Global Services’ leadership team, Emer has a proven track record in leading and maintaining major customer relationships. In the past year alone, she’s grown her UK business by 25 per cent (in a market declining by nine per cent), through some iconic customer wins for BT. Her aim: “to bring more customers home” for BT.

Fiona Timothy, CEO, Calyx Group

Fiona is the CEO of Calyx Group, an IT services business backed by Better Capital. She’s an all-too-rare woman running a PE-backed business, and has guided the business out of administration and back to profitable trading. Prior to joining Calyx, Fiona was the CEO of COA Solutions, also private equity backed, which she successfully led through a turnaround and trade sale.

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