The Tees Businesswomen Awards are instrumental in uncovering hidden female talent, says Sharon Lane, the reigning Tees Businesswoman of the Year.
“Since their inception, the Tees Businesswomen Awards have helped highlight so many amazing women that I didn’t know were here,” said Sharon, the managing director of North Skelton-based Tees Components, in discussion with Tees Business executive editor Dave Allan on the latest PD Ports-sponsored Tees Business Leaders Live Q&A.
“I think what we’ve seen in the last couple of years of the Awards is just the tip of the iceberg and there are so many more great women out there,” she continued.
As the clock ticks down to the 2020 Awards, being held virtually on January 14, Sharon stresses the need for women to put themselves forward for the awards or to nominate others.
“Getting women to put themselves forward is always going to be a struggle,” she says.
“Many women don’t feel comfortable with individual awards. They might be happy putting their business forward, but with the individual awards, they are more reluctant.”
But she said it was important not to forget that in many cases people haven’t entered the awards but have been nominated by others.
“Of course we should encourage women to put themselves forward,” said Sharon. “But if there’s someone you know that should be included and they’re unlikely to nominate themselves, you can do that for them.”
Sharon praised the application process as a time to reflect on achievements.
“It’s an opportunity to benchmark yourself against other businesses and to see if you are where you thought you wanted to be,” she commented. “It’s really helpful and a great way of planning your future progress as a business.
“It keeps you focused on your goals and even if you don’t get shortlisted, the application process is really helpful. When you’ve written it, you realise just how much you’ve accomplished, and it gives you a real sense of pride.”
Sharon has found being the current Tees Businesswoman of the Year incredibly positive on both a business and personal level.
“It’s made a big difference to me,” she reflected. “It’s allowed me to be part of the community of women on Teesside and that’s really important because running a business can be a lonely job.
“These days I have a fantastic network and thanks to the amazing women I’ve met I’ve done lots of events, talks and workshops with young women. The opportunities have been amazing.”
Sharon is passionate about informing the next generation of women of the opportunities available to them and feels that the Tees Businesswomen Awards are a great way of doing so.
“I’m proud to be part of a new mentoring scheme and it’s vitally important that we inform young women on Teesside about the different job opportunities and the options which are genuinely open to them,“ she said.
“The more that women can tell our stories through mediums such as the Businesswomen Awards and say this is where we are now, the more we can encourage the next generation to raise their aspirations and achieve their full potential.”
For further information on sponsoring one of the three remaining categories in the Tees Businesswomen Awards 2020 call Chris Garbutt on 01642 450255 or email email@example.com.