Remarkable women and men from the North have been recognised in Northern Power Women’s third annual awards ceremony, held in Manchester.

The awards celebrate the women and men working towards creating gender balance in organisations across the entire Northern Powerhouse.

Simone Roche, founder and CEO of Northern Power Women, said the 65 finalists including ten award category winners were chosen from among more than 950 nominations, making the competition extremely tough this year.

“We received a huge number of nominations for our awards this year, especially from the North West, and an impressive increase in the number of men nominated this year.

“Such an amazing response shows the range of incredible women and men working to promote gender equality in and from the North.

“Of course, that made it tough for the judges, but our winners are an incredible group of people and I am so happy and proud to see and help promote the amazing work they’ve been doing.”

With Manchester Airport Group the headline partner for this year’s awards and individual categories sponsored by ey, Santander, NatWest, Morson, Northern and Excelerate Labs the awards and associated campaign to increase gender diversity in and from the North are continuing to grow in stature and influence, which is shown through the impressive list of winners.

The complete list of winners of the 2018 Northern Power Women Awards are:

·Faye Jenkins, BAM Nuttall – One to Watch sponsored by Northern

·Erika Rushton, Baltic Creative CIC – Transformational Leader sponsored by EY

·Swapbots - Innovation

·Samantha White, Pukka Insure – Outstanding Entrepreneur, sponsored by Santander

·Zara Crane Davies, Working Chance – Head of Office – Mentor of the Year sponsored by Excelerate Labs

·Draw & Code – Small Organisation sponsored by NatWest

·Kim Leadbeater, More in Common Batley and Spen, Chair – Person with Purpose

·Spencer Group – Medium Organisation

·Rob Mukherjee, Vodafone – Agent of Change

·Sky – Large Organisation sponsored by Morson

Two outstanding nominees, Stacey Dennis from Love Layla, and Nazir Afzal OBE, were also commended by the judges in the Outstanding Entrepreneur and Agent of Change categories respectively, while a special award was given to Julie Kenny CBE in recognition of her outstanding contribution to entrepreneurship and promoting women and gender equality in the North.

Each year the Northern Power Women Awards also highlight women who are at the peak of their career through its Power List and recognises women who are influencers, leaders and change makers of the future who are already making a difference in their environments and communities through its Future List. An additional 49 Power List and 50 Future List have been added this year, highlighting almost 400 role models that are celebrated on the Northern Power Women website.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of one of the awards sponsors, Santander Business, said: “It’s wonderful to see the talent and passion of the outstanding entrepreneurs shortlisted for a Northern Power Women Award. As a Northern businesswoman myself, I recognise that it takes resilience and passion to turn a dream into a business and to really make your business prosper. I’m proud of what you’ve all achieved.”

While the Awards themselves are an important factor in recognising the achievements of both women and men who are at the forefront of creating greater equality, they form just one part of the campaign. Each award winner will be offered the opportunity to act as a mentor or to gain mentor I ship to increase their career opportunities and are promoted as role models throughout the UK.