There are just a few weeks left for Warwickshire businesses to enter a new-look awards dedicated to recognising growth and resilience throughout the pandemic.
The fourth Ladies First Professional Development Awards will celebrate success stories while also raising funds and awareness for two Midlands charities, St Basils and Suited For Success.
New categories introduced this year among the 25 available, are: Excellence in Health and Wellbeing, Digital Star, Man of the Year, Employer of the Year, Excellence in Education, Family Business and Service Provider of the Year.
Young people will also be under the spotlight at this year’s awards which champion Young Person in STEM, Young Entrepreneur, Rising Star in Education and Inspirational Young Achiever.
Headline sponsors are Pertemps, based in Meriden; Nicola Smyth Salons, which has sites across Warwickshire and the West Midlands; Alsters Kelley Solicitors; and Janine Edwards Wealth Management in Balsall Common.
Carmen Watson, chair of Pertemps Network Group, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of the Ladies First Awards.
"Events like this are essential if we want to encourage more women to aspire to hold the most senior positions within companies across the UK.
“These awards highlight the entrepreneurship, endeavour and determination of businesswomen across the country and will act as an inspiration for hundreds of thousands of women who are doing incredible things every day.
“We must focus on supporting females in business more than ever. It is imperative women know they can progress and receive fair treatment throughout their career.
"Let’s focus on breaking that glass ceiling for good.”
Julie McGarrigle, business development director at Alsters Kelley, which has practices in Leamington, Stratford, Coventry, Southam and Nuneaton said: “We are extremely proud to be one of the headline sponsors of the Ladies First Awards 2022.
"We are looking forward to being involved with the Awards which are an opportunity to celebrate everyone’s achievements and provide a great platform to support all women in business.”
Benefitting from fundraising on the night are two charities that support the homeless and vulnerable in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, Suited For Success and St Basils.
Established in 2016, award-winning Suited For Success helps unemployed men and women in Warwickshire and the West Midlands prepare for a job interview by providing free coaching, employment preparation skills and interview clothing.
St Basils works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, to enable them to find and keep a home, grow their confidence, develop their skills and increase opportunities.
Established in Birmingham, the charity now has 42 accommodation projects across the West Midlands, including Leamington, Coventry, Solihull, Sandwell, Walsall, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Kidderminster.
Awards organiser and Ladies First Network Leader, Tracey McAtamney from Balsall Common, said: “It’s not just about women in business, it’s about recognising all inspirational people in our communities.
“We are already inspired by the quality of entries we’ve received so far.
"But please keep nominating those special women in your life, whether it is a family member, work colleague, friend or someone who has made a difference to your life or the lives of others. We want to hear their story.
"It is wonderful to be celebrating the successes of so many wonderful women of all ages and backgrounds.
“The nomination form is really simple to fill in and if anyone is having any difficulties they can contact me by email directly.”
Closing date for entries is January 7 and finalists will be selected by an independent panel at a judging event on February 7, ahead of an awards ceremony at Coombe Abbey in Coventry on March 24 .
For further information about how to nominate, go to: https://ladiesfirstnetwork.co.uk/awards-2020/