Finalists for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award have been announced today on International Women’s Day.
Since 1972, the awards have honoured women impacting different aspects of business today and celebrates those who share the same qualities as Madame Clicquot, an original trailblazer: her enterprising spirit, her courage and the determination necessary to accomplish her business goals.
The flagship Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award is the longest running award for female business leaders and has recognised some of the UK’s most prolific female business leaders – from Alison Brittain, CEO at Whitbread and leading architect Dame Zaha Hadid CBE. For 2018, there are two nominees:
Ruth Chapman, Founder, Matches Fashion
Liv Garfield, CEO, Severn Trent
The finalists selected by the independent judging panel demonstrated the strongest evidence of success against the nomination criteria. The panel noted how Ruth has successfully innovated the MatchesFashion.com offer throughout a period of change in the retail sector. They outlined Liv’s ability to create significant growth within a FTSE 100 business whilst also investing in the communities in which Severn Trent operates.
Christine Hodgson, member of the judging panel and Chairman of Capgemini outlined notable achievements: “Both women are successful in very different spheres of business. Ruth is a stand-out retail entrepreneur who transformed one retail shop into a global designer fashion platform. Liv is the FTSE 100’s youngest female CEO and is an inspiring business leader, with a passion for customer centricity, operational excellence and responsible business.”
Last year saw the addition of the Veuve Clicquot Social Purpose Award, won by Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, who founded global festival, Women of the World. The Social Purpose Award celebrates business women championing social purpose beyond their core business case, mirroring Madame Clicquot’s passion for creating and curating strong, long standing business relationships, loyalty, and a commitment to business beyond profit.
The finalists are:
Amanda Nevill CBE, British Film Institute (BFI)
June O’Sullivan, CEO, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)
Both finalists selected by the judging panel demonstrated impressive evidence around how they created a strong and positive impact on their core audiences. For June, this is supporting underprivileged children in London by offering options for early years education. Judges noted Amanda’s work pioneering the establishment of the BFI Film Academy which is backed by the Department for Education as a gold standard skills training initiative.
Panel member, Jude Kelly outlines more detail on the two nominees: “I passionately believe that a business with a strong social mission has the power to transform. This year more than ever it is important to celebrate women who are not only at the top of their fields, but those like June and Amanda who are role models; who are embracing the diversity of stories and passions of people from all backgrounds and most importantly, who are supporting the next generation of female leaders across business today.”
The finalists for the fifth Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award are also announced today. This award recognises the pioneers of tomorrow’s successful businesses and continues to be synonymous with unearthing and celebrating exciting new female talent in the UK. The award focuses on the innovation behind a business and how that is set to change a sector. The shortlist reflects the core attributes that Madame Clicquot exhibited in her formative years, such as a fearless approach and innovative thinking to achieve her goals.
The finalists are:
Emily Forbes, Founder, Seenit
Stephanie Alys, Founder, MysteryVibe
Judges noted that both candidates are examples of how women are pushing the boundaries of industry and creating new categories; with Emily and Seenit, transforming media to community activism, and Stephanie’s MysteryVibe moving retail to sex-tech.
Panel member Kathryn Parsons, Founder and CEO, Decoded and the first winner of the New Generation Award stated the reasoning for the panel’s choices: “2018 is a huge year for women and Emily and Stephanie are unequivocally the role models who are set to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. Both are examples of how women are challenging the status quo and creating entirely new business categories.”
Julie Nollet, Marketing & Communication Director, Moët Hennessy UK, commented: “We are thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 2018 Business Woman Awards on International Women’s Day. The nominees for this year reflect the vast achievements being made by women in business in the UK today – made especially poignant in the year that we mark the centenary of the suffrage act. Our founder Madame Clicquot achieved the impossible by being one of the first female entrepreneurs the world had ever seen, and we are proud to continue honouring her extraordinary business acumen, innovation and desire to succeed. It is incredible to see that all of our nominees exhibit these same attributes over two hundred years later.”
The winners of the three awards will be announced on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at a reception in The Ballroom at Claridge’s. The award’s high-profile judging panel is comprised of business leaders from various industries, including, Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters, Frasers & Dunlop, Ruth Rogers, Co-founder of RiverCafé, Matthew Gwyther, BBC Radio 4, In Business presenter, Vanessa Kingori, Publisher of British Vogue, and Moira Benigson, Founder of MBS Group.
Pictured: Previous winner and nominees’s Kathryn Parsons, Jenny Dawson, Hayley Gait-Golding