Lean In Leeds, a women’s networking group in Yorkshire, is celebrating the incredible women of the region by launching its inaugural Women of Excellence Awards, which will take place at Sky Bet on Wednesday 22 March, to tie in with International Women’s Day.
“We decided it was high time that we celebrated the incredible women in the Yorkshire region with our own awards,” explains Claire Ackers, chair of Lean In Leeds. “Our vision is to do something a little bit different than the other awards ceremonies out there. We want to shine a light on women at all ages and stages, especially those who aren’t typically involved in conventional awards ceremonies.”
Categories include The Yorkshire Rose Award for rising stars, The Sending the Lift Back Down Award for women helping other women up the ranks; and The Grit and Graft Award to recognise extraordinary perseverance and resilience; amongst others. Nominations are free and open to all via the Lean In Leeds website, until Friday 27 January.
The entries will be judged by an independent panel made up of Anna Sutton, CEO of the Data Shed and the Data Refinery, Eve Roodhouse from Leeds City Council, Juliette Atkinson, IT director of University of Bradford, Karen Landells from Deloitte and Tracy Fletcher, MD of Campbell and Fletcher.
Sponsored by a raft of Yorkshire-based businesses including Deloitte, Flutter, Sky Bet, Leeds University Business School, Glean, Panintelligence, XSEM, Bruntwood and Reward Finance Group; the Women of Excellence Awards are fundraising in aid of Smart Works Leeds, which helps women get back into employment.
“The support we’ve had from the Yorkshire business community for these awards, and for our free events and our mentoring scheme has been amazing,” continues Claire Ackers. “Thanks to our sponsors, the Women of Excellence Awards are free to attend with charity donations in aid of Smart Works Leeds. To be able to ‘pay it forward’ by supporting a charity which is very close to our hearts, is a real source of pride.”
Lean In Leeds is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. Founded over seven years ago, it has over 1100 members and has run over 60 free events in Leeds and the surrounding areas, supported by local businesses. It also has a thriving mentoring scheme and welcomes anybody who supports their primary focus of gender equality.