The search to find the brightest of the Swindon area’s rising female stars has begun with the launch of the Women of the Future Awards 2012.
Founded by food guru Pinky Lilani OBE in 2006, the awards celebrate the next generation of Britain’s high-potential women aged 35 and under who are breaking the mould and setting the agenda in business, the arts, science and technology.
Last year’s winners included Hayley Gait-Golding, who sold her own house to fund her dream of creating the successful healthy snack company BEAR nibbles, now a nationally-stocked brand, as well as 18-year-old Hannah Blyth who discovered two asteroids during a work experience placement.
With Cherie Blair as patron, the mission of the Women of the Future Awards is to showcase and reward young talent, while creating new, positive role models for future generations.
Over the past seven years, Women of the Future Awards have been presented to ground-breaking female pioneers including Thea Green, founder of the UK’s leading nail brand Nails Inc, Lisa Smosarski, launch editor of Stylist magazine, Sam Smith, founder and chief executive of city broker finCapp, and Alix Pryde, who since winning a Woman of the Future Award has gone on to become director of BBC distribution.
Ms Lilani said: “2012 is one of the most momentous years in our country’s history; more so than ever, now is the time to showcase all that Britain has to offer and this includes our young female talent.
“Our aim for the awards is simply to unearth the brilliant women go-getters, change-makers and exceptional grafters and give them the platform they need in order to become role models and inspire the next generation.
“We’re looking for women who have really pushed the boundaries and made a significant contribution to their fields, and are encouraging them to put themselves forward. If this sounds like you or if you know of a deserving winner, then I would strongly encourage you to nominate them for these influential awards.”
Graham van’t Hoff, chairman of awards backer Shell UK, added: “Every year we witness an overwhelming number of inspirational young women emerge, each with their own stirring story and unique aspirations, and we have no doubt that 2012 will be any different.
“The Women of the Future Awards are set apart by their commitment to honouring not only women who have already achieved, but those who are at the forefront of Britain’s up-and-coming female talent. It is these young women who will be shaping our country’s future and we are delighted to have the opportunity to recognise their achievements.”
The closing date for entries is September 21, 2012. The awards ceremony takes place at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, on November 20.
Pictured: Last year's Women of the Future Awards. Left to right: Dr Kylie Vincent, CJ Antal-Smith, Noa Epstien, Professor Jenny Higham, Shareen Khaliq, Zoe Jackson, Hayley Gait-Golding, Deborah Baker, Elizabeth Anderson and Layla McCay