The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The UK’s Top Business Women Have Been Recognised at The Prestigious Grand Final of The FL National Awards & Summit 2019

Hosted by acclaimed broadcaster, entrepreneur and author Arti Halai, the awards took place at The Royal Armouries, in Leeds on Friday 29th November, where outstanding, female business leaders from across the UK competed in nine categories.

Each finalist triumphed in their regional heat to make it to the national finals, and were put through their paces on 1st November at a live session with a panel of professionally respected judges, held at the Sheffield office of awards regional sponsor Grant Thornton UK.

Alex Depledge, CEO of Resi, was crowned with the top award of FL Business Woman of the Year 2019, after leaving the judges “stunned” with her “drive, passion and innovation”.

Rachel Engwell, head of the FL judging panel and Head of Tax Yorkshire and the North East at Grant Thornton, said:

“It’s great that programmes like FL National Awards & Summit are taking the time to recognise the fantastic achievements of women in business across the UK. Through this initiative, more and more women will be empowered to become leaders and innovators in their fields.”

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 FL National Awards & Summit, now in its 10th year, has become one of the most high profile and respected accolades for women, recognising their enormous contribution to the economy and acknowledges start-ups to multi-million pound companies. This year’s high-profile speakers included Richard John Carter, Managing Director of BASF UK & Ireland; Jon Geldart, Director General of The Institute of Directors; and 2018 Business Woman of the Year, Lara Oyesanya UK Counsel and Director, Legal at Klarna Bank.

Panel discussion was focused on how businesses can help inspire future generations. Panellists included progressive young leaders Emma-Jane Tarabay from Cohorted and FL National Awards alumni Jessica Okoro, founder of BeScience.

The keynote speaker was Anna Keeling, MD of Boeing Defence UK and the alumni of the FL National Awards & Summit. 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.

Anna said: “The FL National Awards inspire me. I was proud to be a winner in 2017 and humbled to have my contribution as to aerospace and defence recognised. The awards are a reminder of the importance of celebrating personal and team successes and recognising talent. Being part of the awards gave me a renewed commitment to making real progress on diversity and inclusion in my teams. It was a reminder to honour my personal and professional commitments to influence tangible change.”

The full list of winners from the national finals is as follows:

Business Woman of the Year 2019 – sponsored by Boeing Defence UK

Alex Depledge (London & the South)

Alex is one of the leading female lights in the UK’s tech scene. An innovative, principled and inspiring businesswoman; she co-founded the pioneering Hassle.com, which sold for £27 million in 2015. She has now started Resi, a groundbreaking online architectural service that is revolutionising how Britons renovate.

Males Agent of Change

Paul Polman, Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE

Paul is Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE, a benefit corporation and foundation accelerating business leadership to achieve the Global Goals. He also serves as Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Oxford Said Business School and is Vice-Chair of the U.N. Global Compact.

He was CEO of Unilever for 10 years where he demonstrated that a long-term, multi-stakeholder model goes hand-in-hand with good financial performance. During his tenure, Unilever was one of the best-performing companies in its sector, delivering ten years of consistent top and bottom line growth.

Lifetime Achievement

Lady Hale, President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE

 Brenda Marjorie Hale, Lady Hale of Richmond took up appointment as President of The Supreme Court in September 2017, succeeding Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury. This following her appointment as Deputy President from June 2013. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.

In January 2004, Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge.

Emerging Leader – sponsored by FL National Awards & Summit Travel Partner LNER

Lobna El Shafie (London & the South)

Lobna is commercially focused, curious and inventive. With a can-do attitude, she works cross borders and organisations to drive launches of large-scale products in international markets, with stellar results. Having been the core driver of the commercial launch of Tumblr in Europe, she now leads Tumblr internationally at Verizon Media.

Corporate Leader – sponsored by Leeds Beckett University

Jacqui Hall (Yorkshire, North East & Scotland)

Jacqui has been at the helm of CNG for almost two decades. Determined to make the energy industry a fairer place, Jacqui has positioned CNG to lead by example, championing competition, fairness and a duty of care to energy users.

Highly Commended – Caroline Frankum (London & the South)

Caroline has 25 years’ experience in leading commercial organisations. Proven track-record for growing businesses in profitable and purposeful ways, creating more inclusive and diverse workforces by helping create environments where the only barriers to success are personal choice and professional competence, and delivering pioneering, future-proof, tech-driven solutions.

Stem Leader – sponsored by BASF

Julianne Antrobus (North West, Wales & Ireland)

Julianne is a technology director for SNC Lavalin’s global nuclear business. In this role, Julianne is responsible for maximising the value of nuclear products and technology, including digital solutions. Prior to joining SNC, Julianne held the positions of global strategy director, Atkins and marketing director on the board at Nuvia.

Highly commended – Elena Rodriguez-Falcon (The Midlands)

President at the New Model in Technology and Engineering. Before that Elena was a professor of engineering at Sheffield University whilst leading various strategic priorities. Elena has received numerous awards for her work on education and diversity and is a principal fellow at the HEA and fellow of the IET and CMI.

Start Up – sponsored by FL National Awards & Summit National Sponsor tastecard

Alex Depledge (London & the South)

Alex is one of the leading female lights in the UK’s tech scene. An innovative, principled and inspiring businesswoman; she co-founded the pioneering Hassle.com, which sold for £27 million in 2015. She has now started Resi, a groundbreaking online architectural service that is revolutionising how Britons renovate.

Young Entrepreneur – sponsored by IoD

Hannah Uruci (London & the South)

Hannah started BRS in 2013, fresh out of university, with no previous business knowledge/experience and with nothing but a few cloths in the back of a Fiat. Through her graft and commitment, BRS has grown significantly and now employs around 50 staff and has an annual turnover of over £1M.

Highly commended – Chloë Clover (Yorkshire, North East & Scotland)

Chloe started her business journey in Sydney with her partner. They travelled the world creating social videos for tourism businesses with nothing but a camera and a laptop. They came home to grow the company and are now employing their 3rd staff and working with international companies.

Female Entrepreneur – sponsored by Grant Thornton UK

Sophie Milliken (Yorkshire, North East & Scotland)

Sophie is a managing director of SRS, based in Newcastle and operating UK-wide. Specialising in graduate recruitment and employability, we provide assessment design and delivery support for employers such as M&S and AXA. For universities, we are the award-winning market leaders in large scale assessment simulations for students.

Charity & Social Enterprise – sponsored by Pratap Partnership

Victoria Burnip (Yorkshire, North East & Scotland)

Victoria is a CEO of Creative Adventures. Former Interim CEO of The Key and COO of Age UK South Tyneside, has over ten years senior leadership experience providing strategic and operational support to charities to make a positive difference to the lives of others.

Mentor of the year – sponsored by Murray Harcourt

Carol Ann Whitehead (North West, Wales & Ireland)

Carol Ann is the MD of The Zebra Partnership a publishing, events and campaign specialist agency. She is an RSA Fellow, an advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion and part of The People’s Hub team working to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals leading on diversity and women’s rights.

Highly commended – Jacqueline O’Donovan (London & the South)

Jacqueline is a genuine inspiration and role-model for women. An undisputed leader and ‘disruptor’ in a male-dominated industry, Jacqueline is one of the waste and construction sectors’ most influential trailblazers – passionately advocating for road-safety and best-practice, she has championed improved standards, resulting in a safer and more responsible sector.

Public Sector, Academia & Not For Profit – sponsored by FL National Awards & Summit Media Partner Yorkshire Post

Sarah Hainsworth (The Midlands)

Sarah is a pro-vice-chancellor and executive dean for Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University and a professor of materials and forensic engineering. Her research interests are in forensic engineering related to stabbing and dismemberment and materials characterisation. She was one of the team who investigated the remains of Richard III.

Leave a Reply