Awards 2021 - FL
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2021 Summit Overview

This year, the theme is “Balanced Leadership”.

We are bringing together carefully curated expert panels, as well as industry-leading speakers to share thoughts on how we create a safer, healthier and more gender-balanced working environment for all.

The FL (Forward Ladies) Leadership Summit & Awards will bring together women from all levels, industries, organisations and backgrounds to discuss their journeys and careers.



Entrepreneur Categories

These categories celebrate entrepreneurs. They are the women who founded or run businesses and maintain control and interest in their business.


This award is for women who have started a new business and is within the first 5 years of trading.


This award is for women who own or run their own business. The applicant should ideally be able to demonstrate their current involvement in the successful business venture.


This award is for women who own or run a business.

Corporate Categories

These categories celebrate female leaders and rising stars. 


This award is for women who are working in a management role. These women will have had 10+ years of experience of leadership and evidence they have driven the business forward with exceptional results. They will also have evidence of mentoring people along with examples of community engagement


This category is for women working within an organisation large or small. They should demonstrate personal, as well as general business progression being achieved.


This award is for women in a senior position working within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics sector. Applicants must either be running their own business or be employed in a relevant business. They should be able to demonstrate the positive impact of their role to the business in which they work and show examples of how they have encouraged other women to join the sector.

Joint Categories

These categories are open to both entrepreneurs and career women.


This award is for women who have a track record in mentoring and developing future leaders of industry.


This award celebrates women who volunteer a significant amount of their time working within academia, the public sector or charity organisations.


This award is for women who either run or who are employed to work or who volunteer a significant amount of their time working within academia, the public sector or charity organisations.

Special Awards


This award will be presented to the woman who scored most highly across the judging criteria and will be announced at the National Grand Final.


This award will be presented to a woman who has made a significant contribution to the support of women in their sector, over a substantial period of time.




Griselda began her career as an electrical engineer, she then veered into business having been influenced by the challenges and successes that her parents experienced as entrepreneurs. She trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with one of the BIG 4 professional services firms but now runs her own businesses, Forward Ladies included. Griselda is a mother of two beautiful children. She is extremely passionate about positively impacting the future of women and girls in the workforce. Griselda joined Forward Ladies as a member and was hooked.


Anna joined Boeing as Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK in 2019 from GKN Aerospace. She is responsible for Boeing UK’s significant defence programmes, people and sites and the organisation’s growth, alignment and business development. Boeing, across all businesses, operates at 65 sites and employs 2,500 people directly and many more through a significant domestic supply chain. 

Anna has two decades of global leadership experience in the aerospace and automotive sectors. Before joining Boeing, she was Senior Vice President Business Transformation, leading GKN’s business improvement plan to drive profit, margin and cash and Senior Vice President Commercial, where she assumed responsibility for all GKN Aerospace’s global commercial governance and ensured an aligned customer strategy across the business.


Alex Depledge is one of the leading female lights in the UK tech scene. An innovative, principled and inspiring businesswoman, she co-founded the pioneering, which sold for £27 million in 2015.

She has now started Resi, a groundbreaking online architectural service that is revolutionising how Britons renovate.

Alex was the FL awards overall business women on the year winner in 2019.


Susie works on board level appointments across all sectors. After a 30-year career as a traditional headhunter, Susie had one of those lightbulb moments when realising that, in the digital age, there had to be a better way of hiring new board members. 

In 2014 Susie founded Nurole, the global platform changing the way organisations bring the best people onto their boards. The approach combines smart technology and industry experts to transform the boards of multinationals, start-ups, charities, government bodies and everything in between. The Financial Times named Nurole one of Europe’s fastest growing companies in both 2019 and 2020.


Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris, speaker, executive coach and author, has been improving the lives of women working in male-dominated professional services and STEM fields since 1998.  She’s known for 2500+ ICF accredited executive coaching hours, 200+ organisational presentations, 110 YouTube ‘how-to’ videos, 3 best-selling career development books, 1 Cambridge PhD… and a partridge in a pear tree.

Raised in the U.S, SDM’s presentations have an international flavour. Now in Scotland, she’s lived and worked in five countries over the last few decades. Her audiences reflect this and are drawn from the UK and USA as well as across Europe and the Middle East.


A 24-year-old lifestyle content creator as well as the Partnerships and Editorial Manager at Cohorted Communications, based in Leeds. 

Emma considers herself as a mental health advocate, being completely transparent about her journey with depression and anxiety alongside her studies and the influence this has on her post-graduation journey. As she progresses more into her professional career, she recognises more than ever how necessary it is to discuss mental health on a daily basis. 

Since receiving the Forward Ladies award for ‘Most Aspirational Student’ she has been working closely with FL as a Future Generation Brand Ambassador. By helping to build brand awareness to the younger generation of women, we are able to empower and encourage leadership amongst a younger audience. If she’s not writing or working, she will be having a cuddle with her gorgeous pup Rupert. 


Sarah Haran was the Chief Operating Officer & Board Director of iomart Group Plc, a cloud computing IT business where Sarah was part of the founding team and the first employee. Under her stewardship iomart grew from zero revenues to £100 million. 

In March 2017 Sarah decided to focus her attention on her hobby handbag business where she had been inspired by her business life to design the perfect handbag for women. Sarah designs handbags & accessories that are the perfect balance of beauty & function. Primarily an ecommerce business, Sarah’s aim is to bring joy to her customers.


Andrea Reynolds developed Swoop. She is amazing at recognising her strengths and her passions. She had the opportunity to move onto larger businesses within her career but her passion was with SMEs. She created a platform that fits SMEs with their best funding options so that they can reach their potential and so grow into those larger businesses she originally decided not to work with. Her passion is helping the little guys grow into the big fish. Where are your strengths? Where is your passion? That’s where you should focus!

Catherine Morgan is a multi-award winning qualified Financial Planner and award-winning Certified Financial Coach, on a mission to reduce financial anxiety and increase financial empowerment & resilience for 1 million women around the world. Featured as One of the top 32 female entrepreneurs to look out for in Business Leader. She is host of the top 1% global podcast ‘In Her Financial Shoes’ and founder of The Money Panel ®.

‘The way we treat money is a mirror reflection of how we treat ourselves.’

After almost losing her son to meningitis at 5 weeks old and spending years in debt shame cycles, she became determined to help women to release the guilt and shame they attach to money and change the financial services profession from one that is focused on products to one that is focused on behavioural change.


Marcella Allison is the CEO of Copy Harvest LLC and the founder of the Mentoress Collective (formerly Titanides Mentoring Collective), an organisation dedicated to promoting female freelancers, entrepreneurs, and copywriters. Learn more at

As a copywriter, she works with some of the top direct-response companies in the industry. She has written for The Motley Fool, BottomLine, Inc., Advanced Bionutritionals, Money Map Press, Metabolic Living, The Bo Eason Group, and more. Her copy has generated over $100 million in sales for financial trading services, alternative health supplements, and information products.
As a mentor and copy chief, she designed and led Money Map Press’s proprietary training program for in-house and freelance copywriters. Today she mentors over 1,200 women in the Mentoress Collective.
In 2018, Marcella was awarded Copywriter of the Year by American Writers and Artists Inc. for her outstanding performance record and impact on the copywriting industry. She’s a featured speaker at industry events including AWAI’s Copywriting Success Bootcamp, Copy Chief LIVE, and The Copywriter Club In Real Life.

Marcella is the co-author of, Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me This Sh*t Before? A collection of wit and wisdom from women in business. As the founder of the Mentoress Collective she is dedicated to helping women go as fierce and far in business and life as they desire.


Scarlett Allen-Horton is a top performing international executive search recruiter; equality, diversity and inclusion specialist and founder of Harper Fox Search Partners, a top executive search firm with a passion for placing senior female and ethnic minority talent across the engineering and energy sectors. 

In addition, Scarlett is a finalist of the acclaimed BBC Apprentice Television Show, business partner to British business magnate Lord Sugar, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and proud ambassador for WE:ARE domestic abuse freedom empowerment charity.


Matt founded tastecard (originally tastelondon) in 2006 with just £20,000 – fifteen years later it is now the UK’s largest dining club with over 3 million members.

Of course, the last twelve months have proved challenging for tastecard as most of its partner restaurants have been closed and members asked to stay at home, but with challenges come opportunities and Matt talks about how the business has pivoted, giving an insight in to some of the other projects they’re working on including a new fitness app.

Matt also talks about hospitality reopening, and how hard the industry has worked to ensure that it reopens safely. He himself had COVID at the beginning of the year and understands how nervous some people are about being in a social setting again. However, he is hugely optimistic about the future of the industry with many people longing for real human interaction in restaurant settings.


Following over 20 years as a secretary and then PA, Heather established Baker Thompson Associates in January 2000 to fulfil the need for specialised PA/EA/admin training; training for Assistants by Assistants. She now (pandemic excepted) travels with world working with small and large organisations enabling Assistants to find ways to excel in their roles, for their success and the success of their companies. During lockdown, all her training is available online. 

Baker Thompson Associates has won several awards. She is the author of 4 Amazon top ten selling books and the creator of the BakerWrite speedwriting system, which is now offered by UK Pitman Group franchises and other approved training companies around the world. Heather is proud to be a Prince’s Trust business mentor and a supporter and mentor for Isipho Admin in South Africa.



08:30 – 09:00  Yoga session with Laura Jay Yoga

09:30 – 09:40  Welcome from your host FL CEO Griselda Togobo

09:40 – 11:10  Business Growth – “Shecession” 

The economic fallout from the pandemic – has been devastating for women globally – impacting our finances, job prospects and female-dominated industries. The impact of the “shecession”’ will be felt long after this pandemic is over. How can female founders build back better? 

This panel brings together female founders to discuss strategies for bouncing back. 

On this panel: Marcella Allison,  Andrea Reynolds, Sarah Haran, Heather Baker and Griselda Togobo (Host) 

11:10 – 11:25   Break

11:25 – 12:00  Future Proof Your Career – Workshop with Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris

Earners, learners and returners: What the changing workforce means for you.  

We’re now in a world where continual upskilling, female high earners and remote working for convenience and climate change are all the ‘new normal’. 

Building on the lessons from her book ‘Female Breadwinners’ this talk covers ideas on how to: 
·        React quickly to the changes in your sector 
·        Rapidly upskill on the cheap
·        Manage working expectations so they work best for you 

Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris, speaker, executive coach and author, has been improving the lives of women working in male-dominated professional services and STEM fields since 1998. 

12:00 -12:10   Close from your host, Griselda Togobo

12:15 – 13:15  Cook-A-Long with Dr Sunni Patel from Dish Dash Deets – See the menu and ingredients list here.


13:30 – 13.40  Welcome from your host 

13:45 – 14:45  Leaders and Allies – Panel Discussion

While organizations often express that diversity and inclusion are top priorities, words have not always translated into action. Our panel convenes leaders who are driving change in their business, on boards and their industries. Join us to find out what tangible commitments leaders can make to advance gender equity. 

On this panel: Matt Turner, Anna Keeling, Susie Cummings and Griselda Togobo (Host)

14:45 – 15:00  Break

15:00 – 16:00  Future Workforce – Panel Discussion

What will your job look like 10, 20 years from now? What skills are employers looking for, and how can you prepare yourself for the future job market. What shifts should you be expecting within the next decade?  

This panel is a discussion of how the workplace has evolved over the last few years, what impact the pandemic has had on it and also where the workplace is headed.  

On this panel: Scarlett Allen-Horton, Emma Tarabay, and Griselda Togobo (Host) 

16:00 – 16:15  Break

16:15 – 16:45  Speed Networking 


17:30 – 18:40  Awards Ceremony

18:40 – 18:55 Keynote from past overall businesswoman winner

19:00             Session Ends

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Dr Sunni’s Cook-A-Long menu

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2019 Throwback


“The impact of the awards has been huge. This achievement has shone a spotlight on my career and inspired others. More importantly, the awards have enabled me to promote women’s causes and to encourage women to consider all possibilities.”

Lara Oyesanya
Klarna Bank

“I absolutely love the FL awards. I remember the first time I attended a few years ago and entering the room as the speaker – I couldn’t believe the buzz and the energy. But then again it’s no surprise that so many high achieving women in one room could create an unbelievably high octane, inspiring atmosphere. Every year it gets better and better.”

Sahar Hashemi
Founder Coffee Republic

Hall of Fame

See the companies and key influencers
who won at The FL National Awards &
Summit in previous years. Could your
company be featured in our Hall of
Fame in future?

2021 Awards Sponsors

Past Sponsors

Our Clients

Sky Bet Careers
Institute of directors iod
Yorkshire Water
Grant Thronton
Leeds beckett

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