On Monday 8 March inspirational women and men from all over the North came together virtually to celebrate this year’s Northern Power Women Awards.

The Awards celebrate the incredible achievements of women and men working together to accelerate gender diversity across the North and on a global scale and serve to re-connect us all after a year of lockdown, social distancing, and working from home.

This year’s awards have witnessed a record-breaking 1480 nominations, and had over 900 people in attendance, making it the largest awards celebrating gender equality in Europe!

Simone Roche MBE founder and CEO of Northern Power Women stated: “Tonight marks a monumental moment. We celebrate the amazing achievements of women and men who have contributed so much to promoting gender diversity, both individually and collectively. We were devastated to postpone four days before last year’s event, but everything comes to she/he/they who wait!”

She also added: “The sheer passion of the NPW community plus the volume and quality of nominations continues to exceed all of our expectations, as we have received a record-breaking 1480 nominations, featuring outstanding people with some truly incredible stories to tell. I know our 70 judges have an increasingly hard task in shortlisting and selecting winners as the quality, and quantity, of entries grows year after year. I would like to thank our judges and congratulate nominees and of course tonight’s winners for being a part of this unique and special event.”

The evening commenced with a stunning spoken word poem from Anima Atiq, a Yemeni-Scouse writer and performance artist, who wowed award attendees with her piece commissioned by Northern Power Women titled “My Northern Skyline”. The poem resonated particularly after a year where we have all overcome more challenges than we ever thought possible, forcing us to adapt and pivot into new circumstances, but also allowing us to show the true Northern grit that featured in Anima’s poem.

NPW went out of their way to ensure an energising evening hosted by broadcaster Nina Hossain and included performance by the Voice finalist Deanna Walmsley. Simone was also joined on stage by Simone the Goat who received global recognition from New York to New Zealand recently due to the Goats on Zoom campaign raising over £50k.

Guests were invited to support female led small business and charities through opting for locally sourced food hampers or donating to one of 12 charities in the shortlist. Simone said, “In a year where hospitality businesses and small charities have been impacted, we wanted to galvanise support for these organisations.”

A particularly special thank you went out to EY, who were this year’s Headline Sponsors. Diversity and inclusion are very much at the heart of the EY ethos, and their sponsorship of this year’s NPW Awards has solidified their position as an organisation truly committed to promoting gender diversity in the North.

This monumental night of celebration would not have been possible without the additional support of the individual category sponsors. These include MAG, Michael Page, Excelerate Labs, The Co-Operative Bank, BNY Mellon, Entrepreneur Hub, Liverpool FC, Manchester Alliance Business School, HSBC UK, NatWest, United Utilities and YBS Group.

At the Awards Simone Roche MBE also announced the launch of the Be Heard platform aimed at levelling up the events and media industries. “We wanted to create a platform where event organisers and media producers could access a wider range of voices from across the regions and sectors of the north. For six years we have grown a community of over 60k and wanted to create a platform to amplify voices from the north”. Sign up for free www.be-heard.io

The list of Yorkshire winners of the 2020 Northern Power Women Awards are:

Mentor of the Year – Zandra Moore, CEO, Panintelligence
Prior to working for Panintelligence, Zandra ran her own software solutions consultancy business and has founded a range of local B2B networking organisations, including LeanIn Leeds – a network of over 550 professional women, holding regular monthly events.

**Agent of Change – Michelle Hands, Engineer at Nut Job Ltd **
Through her social media platforms and public speaking, Michelle helps women navigate the complexities of working in male dominated environments. Adopting the mantra of ‘She who dares wins’, Michelle strives to share her experiences of working in a man’s world and support fellow women who may be lacking in confidence in male dominated industries. 

Michelle has a global reach with more than 8,000 Instagram followers, ranging from female carpenters, to builders and mechanics, who share stories with Michelle via her Podcast.

With such an astounding calibre of nominations this year, the judges felt compelled to give out 7 commended awards, as well as 5 special acknowledgement awards, in Yorkshire they were awarded to the following:

Alison Fisher – Transformational Leader
Vicky Ringer – Person with Purpose

**Judges’ Special Acknowledgement Award: **
Sally Orange

Each year the Northern Power Women Awards also highlight women who are at the peak of their career through its Power List. Special recognition is also given to influencers, leaders and change makers of the Future who are already making a difference in their environments and communities and are mentioned in the Northern Power Women Future List. An additional 50 Power List and 52 Future List have been added this year, highlighting almost 600 role models that are celebrated on the Northern Power Women website.

For a full list of winners throughout the North visit: http://www.northernpowerwomen.com/npwa-2020-winners