Deadline extension for Women of Achievement Awards announced

The deadline for our Women of Achievement Awards has been extended by two weeks.

The Women of Achievement Awards (WOAA) celebrates the achievements of businesswomen across Hull and East Yorkshire who either run their own business or hold a leading role in their profession, industry, organisation or charity.  Entries are now set to close on Sunday 14 August, giving nominees an extra two weeks to write and submit their entry.

Natalie Houfe, our chair, who announced the extension, said: “We’ve had a great response so far, but we’ve also had a number of requests to extend the deadline.  We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to apply so the closing date has now been moved to Sunday 14 August – and we’re really looking forward to reading even more amazing, inspirational stories.”

The WOAA will take place on Friday 11 November from 12-5pm at the Mercure Hotel in Willerby. Gloria Hunniford OBE, one of Britain’s best-known television and radio personalities has been announced as this year’s guest speaker.  Meanwhile, former ITV Calendar News senior reporter Fiona Dwyer will compère the event.

Nine different categories are available to enter, including:

  • New Business Award
  • Established Business Award
  • Voluntary Award
  • Apprentice/ trainee Award
  • Women in STEM Award
  • Lifetime of Achievement Award
  • Female Entrepreneur Award
  • Women Breaking Boundaries Award
  • Employee of the Year

If you know someone who deserves recognition, don’t hesitate to nominate them, whether it’s a friend, family member, client or colleague.  Women are also encouraged to nominate themselves for an award.

Natalie continued: “We have so many hard-working women in all sectors across Hull and East Yorkshire and we want them to shout out about the amazing work they are doing in their industry!”

To enter the WOAA, or to find out more information, click here:

“The pandemic was make or break – but we’ve come out of it stronger than ever.”

Little Wold Vineyard’s Alice Maltby reflects on four rollercoaster years since winning the 2018 Women of Achievement award

When Alice Maltby won both the ‘New Business’ and ‘Overall Winner’ categories of our Women of Achievement Awards in 2018, Little Wold Vineyard was still in the early stages of its development.

Just four years on, the South Cave business has weathered the storm of the Covid pandemic and grown to become Yorkshire’s largest vineyard – and a leading regional tourist attraction and events venue.

The business was established in 2015 by Alice, her father and her brother, with the aim of creating a new income stream for the family farm.

Its first ‘own’ wines, produced wholly from vines on the estate, were bottled in 2017.

“I was genuinely gobsmacked to be shortlisted for the WiB Women of Achievement Award’s new business award after a friend nominated me,” Alice said.

“Winning the award on the day, and being named the overall winner for that year, was an even bigger surprise – it really made me stop and reflect on the journey to get there.

“Just reaching the point where we were producing our own wine was the result of years of sheer hard work. At that time I had a four-year-old and a small baby – so with them, as well as setting up the business, I had a lot on my plate.

“The award felt like validation in the face of sceptics who doubted that a vineyard in Yorkshire could succeed. It also helped raise the profile of the business – there were plenty of people locally who hadn’t heard of us back then, so the publicity we received was very welcome.”

Since then, the team at Little Wold Vineyard has won many other plaudits, from Farmers Weekly magazine’s Diversification of the Year award to a dozen industry awards for its still and sparkling wines.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

“At the stage we were at then, the pandemic really was a make-or-break situation for us. As well as being a major source of revenue, our events are an important sales outlet for our wines, so we were doubly hit by lockdown restrictions,” Alice said.

“With large weddings, tasting events and tours cancelled, we had to adapt quickly without really knowing what the future held. We increased our focus on online sales, introduced virtual tasting events over Zoom, launched picnics in the vineyard and offered micro-weddings that were in line with Covid guidance.

“My brother and I also used the time to gain professional winemaking qualifications which means we’ll be making our own wine on the premises for the first time with our next harvest, instead of contracting the process out.”

The business now employs 15 people and continues to go from strength to strength, with 85 per cent of its wines now sold direct and over 45 weddings – plus tours, tastings and picnics – taking place onsite during the year ahead. 

Alice believes the our Women of Achievement Awards (WOAA) are the perfect opportunity to shine a light on women’s successes in the world of business and beyond.

“I would 100% encourage people to put themselves forward for an award, or to nominate someone else.

“The last two years have been tough for everyone and there’s plenty of evidence that women have had it hardest of all – doing their day jobs at the same time as home-schooling children and looking after the wellbeing of staff.

“As a woman in business it can sometimes be harder to have your voice heard, especially in a male-dominated industry like mine. The recognition that comes from winning or being nominated for an award can give you a valuable boost of energy and confidence that helps keep you on track and ready to rise to the next challenge.”

Just over two weeks remains to nominate the inspirational women in your life for our Women of Achievement Awards, with entries closing on Sunday 14 August.

Taking place on Friday 11 November from 12-5pm at the Mercure Hotel in Willerby, there are nine categories available to enter including:

  • New Business Award
  • Established Business Award
  • Voluntary Award
  • Apprentice/ trainee Award
  • Women in STEM Award
  • Lifetime of Achievement Award
  • Female Entrepreneur Award
  • Women Breaking Boundaries Award
  • Employee of the Year

To enter the awards click here. To find out more information visit our Twitter page here.

International Women in Engineering Day: “I’ve travelled the world doing what I love, one day I’m on a nuclear power plant, the next I’m offshore on a wind turbine”

Jayne Taylor-Whitticks owns welding inspection company Magna Inspections, based in Driffield, East Yorkshire.

First established 14 years ago in Jayne’s bedroom, Magna Inspections is now a multi-million-pound company, responsible for assessing the quality and strength of welding work on projects across the UK. Jayne’s welding inspectors travel the length of the country to test welds in the nuclear, oil and gas, and structural steel sector.

Magna Inspection’s high-profile clients include the likes of Hinkley Power Station, owned by gas and electricity suppliers EDF, and Paddington Crossrail in London.

To recognise International Women in Engineering Day (Thursday 23 June), previous Women of Achievement Award winner Jayne has revealed all about her experience in the industry – from starting up her own business, to how she gained respect from her peers as a female – in order to inspire more girls to study engineering.

“Whilst I didn’t set out to work as an engineer, I would say I have one of the best jobs in the world – every day is different, and I’ve travelled the world doing what I love,” said Jayne.

“I’m a metallurgist by trade, so my job entails solving problems. For example, if a weld fails, I investigate to see why it’s happened. I work with design and structural engineers to come up with solutions, I look at how we can fix problems and the materials that should be used.

“One of the things that I love the most is that my job is so varied. One day I can be on a structural steel site, the next I can be on a nuclear power plant, or offshore working on wind turbines.

“However, whilst I’ve established myself in the industry, it’s rare that I come across another female welding engineer. I’d say I’m one of the only women in the UK in the field of structural steel – it’s very much a male-dominated sector and there just aren’t enough women that want to come into welding.

“Because of this, when I first started out, I had to prove myself to the men I worked with. I had to give instructions to welders that had been in the industry for over 40 years, and back then there wasn’t any respect for a woman.

“Towards the start of establishing Magna Inspections back in 2012, I was incredibly proud to win the main award at the Women of Achievement Awards. This was a massive confidence boost for me, and gave me the encouragement needed to continue and turn my business into the multi-million-pound company it is today.

“Celebrating women’s achievements in engineering is something that should be encouraged to increase the number of women joining the industry. As well as acknowledging industries that don’t always get the recognition they deserve, it demonstrates what is possible in the field of engineering.

“Now I’m more established I am well-respected, but I do have to prove myself, whereas I think that male engineers don’t have to prove their worth as much.”

Whilst more females are beginning to take up careers in the space, latest figures show that just 16.5% of engineers are women.

Jayne continued: “It is worrying that young women aren’t coming into the industry. The average welding engineer is male, around the age of 57.

“Being an engineer isn’t celebrated enough in the UK, especially being a woman in engineering. In countries like France and Germany, being an engineer is akin to being a doctor. Qualifying to be an engineer, which requires a university degree in the UK, is a huge achievement and should be valued.

“At over half the sites I visit, there still aren’t any women’s toilets or facilities available. For young girls, this isn’t an attractive place to work – it’s still very male-dominated.

“I think a big reason for this is not enough people know what being a welding engineer involves. In fact, not enough people know what being an engineer can involve. Young girls need to realise that it can be a fantastic career. It can take you to places you never imagined.

“There’s definitely more we could be doing education-wise. Schools could promote the different paths available in the field of engineering. We need to promote the possibilities.”

To enter the Women of Achievement Awards, click here.

Gloria Hunniford OBE confirmed as guest speaker at Women of Achievement Awards

We’re pleased to announce that national treasure Gloria Hunniford OBE has been announced as our guest speaker at the launch of this year’s Women of Achievement Awards.

The launch, which took place on Thursday 7 April, also marked the opening of entries for the awards, giving people the chance to nominate themselves or others for one of nine award categories.

Our biennial Women of Achievement Awards will take place on Friday 11 November from 12–5pm, and will champion the achievements of women from across the region, who either run their own business or hold a leading role in their profession, industry, organisation or charity.

Natalie Houfe, chair of Women in Business, said: “It is an honour to welcome Gloria Hunniford as our guest speaker at this year’s Women of Achievement Awards.

“Gloria is a real icon and has achieved so much in her extensive career. But what is even more remarkable is the contributions she has made to cancer charities through breast screening services and cancer support.

“We look forward to hearing Gloria’s inspiring story, which I’m sure is one which is close to many of our hearts.”

With a career spanning over 60 years, Gloria Hunniford is one of Britain’s best-known television and radio personalities. The first woman to have her own daily radio show on BBC Radio 2, Gloria has hosted shows including Rip-Off Britain and Wish You Were Here and is now a regular on ITV’s This Morning and the BBC’s The One Show.

Local cancer support organisation Her Breast Friends was also announced as the awards’ chosen charity for 2022.

Last night’s launch was attended by over 100 businessmen and women from across the region and gave guests more information about the different categories available to enter, along with some advice as to what the judges are looking for in an award winner, the benefits of entering the awards and how those interested can enter.

Guests at the launch also heard from previous Women of Achievement Award winner Alice Maltby of Little Wold Vineyard, who spoke about how the awards have impacted her, and her plans for the future.

Natalie continued: “If you know someone that you think is deserving of one our awards, don’t hesitate to nominate them, whether it’s a colleague, family member or friend.

“We’d also encourage women to nominate themselves for one of our awards, we have so many hardworking businesswomen across Hull and East Yorkshire and they should shout about the amazing work they are doing in their industry!”

Categories for this year’s Women of Achievement Awards include:

  • New Business Award – sponsored by Harrison Solway
  • Established Business Award – sponsored by Victory Leisure Homes
  • Voluntary Award – sponsored by Jadan Press
  • Apprentice/ trainee Award – sponsored by Bishop Burton College
  • Women in STEM Award – sponsored by Ansell
  • Lifetime of Achievement Award – sponsored by The One Point
  • Female Entrepreneur Award – sponsored by Lexus
  • Women Breaking Boundaries Award – sponsored by MKM
  • Employee of the Year – sponsored by Pace Communications
  • Overall Women of Achievement Award – sponsored by Smailes Goldie

Sponsors of the awards turned out in great form to connect and offer their support. Additional sponsors confirmed for the event include Forrester Boyd, Mercure Hotel, Banks Cooper, Edwards & Pearce and Rollits LLP. Smailes Goldie is the award’s main event sponsor.

We are still looking for a charity sponsor, which is the last sponsorship opportunity available at the awards.

Tickets for the Women of Achievement Awards sell out quickly, so those interested in attending are advised to book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

The Women of Achievement Awards takes place on Friday 11 November from 12-5pm. Entries close on 31 July. To book a ticket, or to enter the awards, visit: https://womeninbusinesshull.co.uk/current-events/women-achievement-awards/.

Women in Business Hull announces awards launch event

The launch of our biennial Women of Achievement Awards has been announced for Thursday 7 April 2022.

Celebrating the achievements of businesswomen across Hull and East Yorkshire who either run their own business or hold a leading role in their profession, industry, organisation or charity, April’s free to attend launch event is an opportunity for guests to discover more about the awards, including this year’s line-up of prestigious judges from across the region, alongside a much-anticipated guest speaker.

Our chair, Natalie Houfe, said of the launch: “The Women of Achievement Awards are hugely inspirational and the stories we hear touch the heartstrings of everyone there and are an example for future generations to follow.

“Having had to postpone in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are thrilled to be back even bigger and even better this year!  The launch is a perfect opportunity to find out more about the main event in November which champions the achievements of women across the region.

“We’re particularly looking forward to revealing our amazing guest speaker for 2022, who is a much-loved household name many will recognise.”

At the launch, we will also reveal this year’s chosen charity and give guests a chance to hear from previous winners about how the awards have impacted them, as well as give entrants an idea of what the judges are looking for in an award winner, plus descriptions of each award category and details on how to enter.

Sponsors confirmed for the event include Smailes Goldie as the main event sponsor, Harrison Solway, MKM, The One Point, Pace Communications, Victory Leisure Homes, Jadan Press, Bishop Burton College, Ansell, Forrester Boyd, Mercure Hotel, Banks Cooper, Edwards & Pearce and Rollits LLP.

Nicki Shipley, partner at Smailes Goldie, said: “As accountants and business advisers in Hull, we see the achievements of some of the region’s top women in business every single day.

“Many of them have smashed glass ceilings through determination, perseverance and simply being better than the rest.

“We can’t wait to see entries for the Women of Achievement Awards and I’d encourage any women in business with an inspiring story to tell to come forward and enter.

“We are proud to be celebrating the achievement of the region’s top women in business.”

The Women of Achievement Awards takes place on Friday 11 November from 12-5pm. Entries close on 31 July. To book a ticket, or to enter the awards, visit: https://womeninbusinesshull.co.uk/current-events/women-achievement-awards/.