Join us in shouting out for businesswomen, says first winner Claire

Don’t pass up on the opportunity to make your voice heard, says the first Tees Businesswoman of the Year – with the November 27 entry/nomination deadline fast approaching.

The winner of the very first Tees Businesswoman of the Year Award has spoken out about her desire for other women to put themselves forward for this year’s awards.

Tees Business is organising the event for a third successive year, again in association with Northern Skills Group, the training and apprenticeship arm of Middlesbrough College.

“Anyone who knows me will understand how I felt when I was announced as the winner,” says Claire Preston.

“I was mortified! I felt there were more worthy winners and would have preferred the company I worked for at the time – Lexonik – to win, as it was a team achievement.

“However, I eventually accepted the accolade with good grace, I got over myself and decided to do some good with it.”

Claire now sees her award as a springboard to elevate the position of other businesswomen in our region and to be a role model for the next generation.

“The awards showcase an amazing array of role models who genuinely give young women something to aspire to,” she said.

“It’s so important for girls to be exposed to a world of opportunity, whether that’s in engineering, beauty, education, whichever field they decide to go into.

“We must make sure our voices aren’t lost.”

For Claire, the two years following her award have led to a fulfilling role as a mentor.

“We all make mistakes and we are all on a learning journey,” she reflects. “By harnessing the power of the female community on Teesside, we can share our advice and experiences with others.

“Thanks to the awards, I have a fantastic network of women around me who are always there to support each other, even if that’s on the end of the phone or email.”

The importance of continuing and expanding that network hasn’t been lost on Claire.

“Women must put themselves forward and tell their stories, even though I know that for even the most confident woman this goes against the grain,” she says.

“There’s strength in numbers so please let us know you are out there.”

For further information on sponsoring the remaining Charity/Voluntary category in the Tees Businesswomen Awards 2020, contact Chris Garbutt on 01642 450255 or email info@teesbusiness.co.uk.

Entry/nomination deadline is November 27. To find out more about how to enter the awards or to nominate someone else, click here.