Will you give the gift of an award nomination?

Our region’s women can support, encourage and inspire one another by giving the gift of a Tees Businesswomen Award nomination this Christmas, says one of the event’s very first winners.

With the November 27 deadline for entries fast approaching, a nomination is a fantastic way in which to recognise the wonderful work of individual women and female-led businesses across the Tees Valley.

“We have a duty to be role models, to find and showcase women who wouldn’t necessarily nominate themselves,” said Jess Williams, of Stockton-based sales and marketing solutions specialists Just Williams, winner of the Best Newcomer category at the inaugural awards in 2018.

“To be nominated or shortlisted will also be a much-needed boost of confidence after what has been a really challenging year.”

Jess and fellow award-winners Claire Preston and Marcia Pryce were in in discussion in the latest PD Ports-sponsored Tees Business Leaders Live Q&A.

“One hundred per cent, women should nominate themselves and celebrate their success,” said Claire, the inaugural Tees Businesswoman of the Year, now commercial director for North Yorkshire Educational Services.

“It may go against the grain for women to put themselves forward, but they will be inspiring others by pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and building success for future generations of women and girls.

“At the very least they can put someone else forward. I can guarantee that we will all know at least one woman – probably many women – who are worthy of being nominated.”

As one of the event’s youngest winners, graduate process engineer Marcia has seen a huge increase in confidence over the last 12 months since winning the Breaking the Mould crown at the 2019 awards.

“Being nominated gives you a great opportunity to reflect on everything you have achieved and a confidence boost which is immeasurable,” she said.

“My award has given me a huge sense of pride and the amazing women who I have met since have shown me that the possibilities are endless.”

Claire, too, has found that her award has made a huge impact on her life.

“As well as forging new connections and making wonderful friendships, I’ve become a director of the Open North Foundation, which supports businesses who are struggling as a result of the impact of Covid, an ambassador for the Institute of Directors and chair of the Halo Project, which is very close to my heart.

“Opportunities like this come your way once your profile has been raised, and that’s down to the awards.”

“The increased profile that being a Tees Businesswomen Awards-winner gives you is difficult to quantify,” adds Jess.

“But absolutely the awards are essential. Being in a room full of remarkable and inspirational women and the network that develops after is just fantastic.”

Since winning, Jess has gone on to be a non-executive director and sits on the strategic board for Assist women’s network.

“Since the inaugural awards, the profile of women in the Tees Valley has absolutely escalated and that’s a great thing,” she said.

“The networks, the support and the is collaboration is stronger than it ever has been. I will be forever blessed at the impact that’s had on me.”

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

To find out more about how to enter the awards or to nominate someone else, click here.