Forward Ladies Celebrates the Success of Business Women in the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland

Forward Ladies has announced the winners of the National Awards and Summit for 2019. The Awards took place on Friday 20th September at a celebration lunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle before an inspirational audience of senior and influential business leaders.

The esteemed National Awards Series, which acknowledge and promote the fact that women are an integral and invaluable part of every business, are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. Forward Ladies continues to recognise and honour the most respected businesswomen, across a wide range of business categories.

Forward Ladies CEO Griselda Togobo said: “It is 100 years since women first got the right to vote in the UK, but gender equality remains elusive. Whilst we have clearly made progress over the years, our mission to achieve equality and bring diversity to leadership roles is not yet complete.

“That said, this has been another fantastic year for women and that should be celebrated, and through our National Awards we are once again delighted to showcase the very best women in business here in the UK.

“The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, and our regional shortlists are the everyday heroines, trailblazers and role models who have succeeded despite enormous challenges. They deserve recognition.”

“Each year we are inspired by the number of high-calibre entries, and this year has highlighted the exceptionally talented businesswomen we have in the UK. These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country and play a critical role in our economy.”

The nine category winners will now take part in a judging day in Sheffield in November, before a distinguished panel of business leaders, where they will join finalists from regional events. The overall national winner will be announced at the Grand Final to be held in Leeds on the 29th November.

The keynote speaker at the Yorkshire, Scotland & North East Awards was Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE, founder of Newcastle International Film Festival and trailblazer in the construction, quarrying, mining and associated industries, whose unique and determined approach secured global success for the business as she led the charge that changed the face of how hydraulic excavators are used around the globe.

The Awards were delighted to welcome back LNER, one of the award sponsors this year, and are supported by many sector leading businesses including tastecard, Grant Thornton, Envirovent, Durham University Business School, Institute of Directors, LCF Law, Real World Group, BASF, Cohorted and our supporting partners PNE Group, Topic UK, Yorkshire Life, City & Financial Global, Ilkley Literature Festival and Yorkshire Post. This year we’re also supporting an incredible charity Young Women’s Trust.

Certificates were presented to the winners in each category:

Corporate Leader Category 


Jacqui Hall, Managing Director, CNG Ltd

Emerging Leader & Category


Kelly Convery, Global HR Manager, Northern Gas and Power

STEM Leader Category


Jessica Yeung, Chartered Electrical Engineer, Mott MacDonald

Charity & Social Enterprise Category


Victoria Dunn, Managing Director, Nouveau Wellbeing

Start Up Category     


Lizzy Hodcroft, Director/Founder, Myndr

Young Entrepreneur Category


Chloë Clover, Creative Director, Wander Films

Female Entrepreneur Category


Sophie Milliken, Managing Director, Smart Resourcing Solutions

Public Sector / Academia / Not For Profit Category

Joint Winners:

Joanna Berry, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship Durham University Business School / IoD; and Nicola Chance-Thompson, CEO, The Piece Hall Trust

Mentor of the Year:


Poonam Kaur, Managing Director, fds Director Services Ltd