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First Women of Tourism & Leisure: The 2013 shortlist

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Supported by Land Rover, meet five women pioneering new businesses and markets in tourism and leisure:

Kate Caithness OBE, president, World Curling Federation…

  • First female president of the World Curling Federation and the first female president of an Olympic winter sports federation;
  • Responsible for securing wheelchair curling’s inclusion into the Paralympic Winter Games programme in Turin in 2006; and
  • Ambition to take the sport into new countries; since 2010 more than 20 new countries have shown interest.

Ilse Crawford, principal and founder, StudioIlse…

  • Founded Elle Decoration in 1989, the first contemporary consumer magazine in the UK;
  • Founder of Studioilse, predominantly female studio that is breaking new ground in design and architecture for clients such as Soho House, Georg Jensen, Sergio Rossi, Barbican and most recently the award-winning Ett Hem Hotel; and
  • “I consider myself a quiet revolutionary. My design puts the the human being in the centre. I am fascinated by what drives us, brings us together and ultimately makes us feel alive”.

Dawn Elson, head of engineering, Gatwick Airport…

  • First female flight commander on 8 Squadron, the aero-engine repair and overhaul facility; and first female engineering officer on 216 Squadron;
  • In 2012, became the first female head of engineering at Gatwick Airport; and
  • Keen mentor and supporter of female engineers.

Karen Hester, operations director, Adnams…

  • In the army, at 16, became the youngest girl in the UK to get her HGV licence;
  • Risen from office cleaner to operations director at leading UK brewery;
  • For many years, was the only woman in a department of 30 men; and
  • Oversees 300 people, ensuring the smooth running of day-to-day operations at Adnams Brewery, hotels, pubs and Cellar & Kitchen Stores.

Fiona Jeffery, chairman, World Travel Market 2008-2013…

  • Has led the world’s leading business to business event for 24 years;
  • Persuaded the travel industry to take seriously issues around responsible tourism;
  • Introduced WTM World Responsible Tourism Day in 2008 – now the biggest responsible tourism initiative of its kind in the world; and
  • Launched international water aid charity Just a Drop in 1998, which has helped save the lives of more than 1.5m children and their families from 31 countries, providing safe, clean water.

Why not join us at the 2013 First Women Awards ceremony, in association with Lloyds Banking Group? This special night takes place at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on Wednesday June 12, 2013, and is hosted by the incomparable broadcaster and sports presenter, Clare Balding.

First Women Awards supporters include: the CBI, Accenture, Alexander Charles, benenden health, Centrica, COINS, IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers),  ICAEW, Land Rover, Real Business, CfEL (Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School), and the Huffington Post.

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