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South: Women in Business Awards focuses on leadership and inclusion

By Dan Teuton
5 October 2018

A little less conversation, a little more action was the takeaway message on gender equality from guest speaker Chris Stylianou, chief operating officer for Sky UK and Ireland, at last night’s Women in Business Awards.

Stylianou is one of the Women’s Business Council’s male agents of change, he gave a personal and compelling talk to 280 guests about his efforts to achieve gender parity in Sky’s senior leadership team by 2020.

Initiatives he has introduced at Sky include leadership programmes for women, changes in recruitment processes, and measuring employees on output rather than presenteeism.

“We know women are equally as capable as men, that gender balance leads to better culture and better innovation,” said Stylianou. “It is simply the right thing to do to ensure women have equal opportunities. Now is the time to accept we each own that responsibility instead of passing the blame on to others or placing it on factors outside our control.”

The Awards were held at Oakley Hall, Basingstoke. Finalists were chosen from a record number of entries judged by the sponsors.


Barclays was the Awards’ headline sponsor. The other sponsors were Blake Morgan, KPMG, Hitachi Capital (UK), Thomas International and Westcoast.

A new award category – Start-up of the Year – recognised female entrepreneurial business owners.

Generous donations from guests raised £2,671.50 for Smart Works, the award-winning charity that provides high-quality interview clothing, styling, advice and interview training to women in need.

In the last five years, Smart Works has arranged 15,000 appointments at its centres around the UK. In the Past year, over 60% of the women it saw went on to get a job within a month of their visit.


And the winners are…


Rising Star


Amy Golding, Opus Talent Solutions


Highly commended:

Aduke Onafowokan, Thrive Consulting



Sarah Hitchcox, Anesco

Gemma Hood, Volume

Alexandra Rijnoveanu, Microsoft

Nina Smith, Shoosmiths



Enlightened Employer

Winner: Sky


Highly commended:

Get Ahead VA








Champion of Change


Joint winners:

Sadie Groom, Bubble Agency

Emma Illingworth, SSE Retail



Nicki Aitken, HPE Pointnext

Kaz Mortimer, Shorfield Holidays

Kate Vandenberg, Sky

Paul Barry-Walsh, Fredericks Foundation



Woman Business Owners of the Year



Lauren Atkins, The Malins Group



Stephanie Hall, Uptake Strategies

Rebecca Newenham, Get Ahead VA

Jo Randall, St Magnus Hospital

Leena Sankla, Solutions 4 Health



Board Level and Senior Executive of the Year



Dr Sarah Cooper, CLEAN



Teri Hunter, Moorcrofts

Jaki Mitchell, Crowe



Start-up of the Year



Joy Foster, TechPixies



Jane Arthern, FMCGenie

Sarah Jordan, Y.O.U underwear

Suzy Olivier, Mothers of Enterprise



Spotlight on Women in STEM



Dr Claire Donoghue, 3M



Jackie Doherty, Monodraught

Emma Friendship-Kilburn, Emm-Power

Gemma Hood, Volume

Karin Meurk-Harvey, Vodafone Group Enterprise

Roni Savage, Jomas Associates

Katherine Spice, CV-Library



Role Model of the Year



Pauline Murray, SSE Retail


Highly commended:

Rebecca McAllister, Savills



Luana Clapis, Mintec

Gemma Hood, Volume

Kate Lester, Diamond logistics

Michelle McLeish, SSE Retail

Laura-Jane (LJ) Turner, Centerprise International

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