Let’s hear it for the girls!

Ladies, be honest, have you been recognised and rewarded for your hard work and personal achievements? Or have you accepted your lot and think that seeking formal recognition would be a step too far – embarrassing even?

Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and infamous author of “Lean In – women, work and the will to lead” has recently quoted research describing that no matter how high-achieving the woman, innate self-doubt and insecurity is more likely to prevent her from stepping forward for the recognition she deserves than a man in the same position.

Fortunately not all women are full of self-doubt. Here are some examples of outstanding women who have won top business awards and then gone on to even greater heights with a Queen’s honour:

Jane Shepherdson CBE (pictured above) is a high-flying woman in the retail industry. Jane has won a variety of fashion awards over the years and was nominated for the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2014. Having started working at the high street store TopShop as a warehouse picker Jane soon started to climb up the company ladder becoming Director and an influential fashion figure in the mid noughties. Jane is now Chief Executive of the clothing brand Whistles and has released clothing lines for Oxfam and many other establishments. Jane was awarded a CBE in the 2015 New Years Honours List following her MBE in 2007.

Teresa Graham CBE was appointed Chair of Women of the Year in 2011 and has flourished throughout her career. Women of the Year explain that Teresa started life as an accountant, specialising in enterprise and deregulation, winning ‘Young Accountant of the Year’ Award in 1988. Teresa now works independently focusing on two of her passions – strategic advice to ambitious, growing businesses and liberating these businesses from the fetters of red tape. She holds a number of non-executive directorships and has a variety of mentoring and advisory roles in other growth businesses. Teresa was awarded a CBE in the 2007 New Years Honours List following an OBE in 1997.

Thea Green MBE is the founder of Nails Inc, a nail bar chain with over 60 outlets across the United Kingdom. Thea first set-up the company in 1999 and has overseen Nails Inc dramatic rise to the largest nail bar chain in the UK. In 2011 Thea won the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. And in the very same year Thea was awarded an MBE for her services to the beauty industry. 

Following  Sheryl Sandberg’s speech it seems ironic that in the 2014 and 2015 Honours Lists more than 50% of gongs went to women. Further statistics show that in the 2015 New Years Honours List 45% of the higher-end honours (CBE or Damehood) were awarded to women, an impressive 10% rise from on 2014 Birthday Honours List.

But wait…with more professional women recognised this year than ever before, could there be a link to the fact that two thirds of the Queen’s honours ‘Economy’ Committee is currently made up of high-achieving women who know just what it takes to be outstanding?

So it’s time to answer three simple questions:

  • Do you know a leading lady whose work and achievements make her stand head and shoulders above her peers?
  • Do you know a woman who goes that extra mile, isn’t afraid to put her head above the parapet and who has made it her duty to affect change, or whose dedication has had a positive impact on her profession?
  • Are you this woman?

Mothers, daughters, sisters, colleagues or friends – there is no doubt that without the work of our leading ladies, the world would be a poorer place. So it’s time to cut through the insecurities, shut out the self-doubt and shout about the achievements of our female comrades – and what better way to do that than through making sure they receive the recognition they deserve. Women’s business and personal achievements can be celebrated in many ways, from winning industry awards to getting a gong from The Queen.

Just give us a call on +44 (0)1444 230130 to find out the fantastic array of awards now available to highlight the outstanding success of our female business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs, or email enquiries@awardsintelligence.co.uk for a free, confidential and informal assessment of your chances of success.

Please note: individuals profiled or referred to on this Blog are not necessarily clients of Awards Intelligence.