Women of the Future (“WOF”), the movement recognising and nurturing young female talent in the UK, last night announced the winners of the WOF Awards 2015. The Awards, whose headline sponsor this year is Aviva, is just one component of a wider Week of Women running this week, coordinated between WOF, the FCO and Wilton Park.
The WOF Awards – run by Pinky Lilani CBE DL and with Cherie Blair CBE as Patron – were attended by: Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex; HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan; Princess Zahra AGA Khan, Elif Shafak; Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons; Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister of State for Armed Forces; Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to Afghanistan; Judith McKenna, Vice President and COO, Walmart; and Dr Mukund Rajan, Group Executive Council, Tata Sons.
This year’s WOF Awards celebrated women who have carved out a successful niche in their careers, whether working their way up through an existing organisation or setting out on their own. The nominations for this year’s Awards were exceptionally strong and diverse, attracting the largest number of nominations to date, and between them the winners have: taken on the male-dominated construction industry; campaigned tirelessly on poverty; and overcome disability to excel in the Paralympics for Team GB.
WOF are proud to have celebrated the first 10 years of WOF, which has built up to include an Awards, Summit, Network and Ambassadors Programme. Pinky Lilani CBE DL noted that: “The strength of the WOF network a decade in is testament to the dynamism and energy of the individuals that have made up the Awards shortlist each year. The judging panel are overwhelmed every year by both the achievements and the promise of the young women sitting in front of us – and we all rest safe in the knowledge that these women will be our leaders of tomorrow.”
The Women of the Future 2015 winners are:
- Arts and Culture: Hannah Kendall, Composer
- Business: Lisa Neale, General Manager, Voice & Multimedia Service Operations, BT Group
- Community Spirits: Jackie Scully, Group Account Director, Think
- Entrepreneurship: Gemma Richards, Director, SA Flyers
- MBA Star: Priyanka Agarwal, Founder, Vritti Learning & Research
- Media: Jack Monroe, Writer & Campaigner, Jack Monroe
- Professional: Victoria Price, Partner, EY
- Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction: Hannah Feddon, Associate Director,Faithful + Gould
- Science: Tessa Baker, Postdoctoral Fellow at All Souls, University of Oxford
- Sport: Sophie Christiansen, Paralympic Athlete, Team GB
- Technology and Digital: Dr. Laura Toogood, Managing Director of Private Clients,Digitalis Reputation
- Young Star: Phoebe Gormley, Managing Director, Gormley & Gamble
In addition to celebrating our young talent directly, each year the Awards also recognise a mentor and company who have gone above and beyond to support our future female leaders. This year the winners were Alex Peace-Gadsby, Director, Musto Ltd and medical communications agency Synergy Vision.
Aviva Group CEO, Mark Wilson, said: “Diversity in business is much more than just the right thing to do. Diversity makes clear, hard business sense. Different perspectives, balance and new ideas give any business a competitive edge. Business must encourage women today – our leaders of tomorrow. I would like to congratulate this year’s winners of the Women of the Future awards – they are role models for women across business. It is important that we recognise and celebrate women of talent and ambition or who are making a remarkable contribution.”