Creative Industries

(Sponsored by PJ Care)

Caroline Raines

Caroline is a deserving winner of this category, she clearly had a recognition of the balance and flexibility required for the workplace and is very passionate about her role.

Caroline acknowledged the specific challenges of being a woman leader and the judges were impressed by her methodology of shaping and leading her tam and nurturing talent.

Her community engagement was extremely important to her, facilitated through her current role and also through voluntary positions held. Her wholly pragmatic approach empowers others in and out of the workplace.


Community Impact – Professional

(Sponsored by Roythornes)

Julie Taylor

Julie has made an outstanding contribution to the education of all young people in Peterborough and has championed in particular disadvantaged young people, removing obstacles to their achievement.

Her work promoting cadets across cultural divides has further unlocked the potential of young people.  Her inspirational style has meant that others have been empowered to achieve much greater things.


Community Impact – Charity

(Partnered by East Anglian Air Ambulance)

Carole Hughes

Following the tragic loss of her daughter Anna to a brain tumour, Carole has created and built the charity Anna’s Hope that meets the therapy needs of children with a brain tumour.

While driven by the emotion of tragedy the thought and research Carole has put into this pioneering work is outstanding, demonstrating a long term strategy that fits the NHS vision and provides a much needed service that is improving the lives of 100’s of children.


Community Impact – Voluntary

(Partnered by Peterborough Regional College)

Jennifer Farnham

A true inspiration to the community who cares passionately about the people she lives alongside.  A diverse range of activities delivering huge benefits over a sustained period of over 30 years empowers others to follow in her footsteps to deliver a fantastic legacy.


Customer Service

(Sponsored by OCS)

Parvinder Bedi

Parvinder demonstrates an outstanding passion for delivering excellent customer service.  She uses her well-developed skills across a diverse spectrum ranging from her job in the corporate world to her volunteering.

She inspires others to achieve an excellent role model and is focussed on delivering the best result for everyone she comes into contact with.


Supply Chain

(Partnered by AD Media Relations)

Anna Lee

Anna demonstrated a wealth of diverse knowledge in the male dominated supply chain environment.

Benefiting from her global experience she has become a role model setting a vision and paving the way for more female leaders to take up the gauntlet.

Anna started work at 16 and whilst bringing up 2 young boys and working full time financed her own MBA.

As a leader she is objective, strategic an excellent facilitator and a vision setter.

The judges applaud her.


Science & Technology

(Sponsored by OCS)

Lindsay Hall

Lindsay is the perfect example of the phoenix rising from the flames.  Having been in business for 20 years and overcoming many challenges, she now runs a certified cyber essentials company one of the few in the country.

At a time in Peterborough when one of the largest providers of broadband services could not meet the needs of the community, Lindsay championed the cause of improving the infrastructure.

Lindsay also introduced Easylife IT, Tech Talks, which are free to all in Peterborough to attend.

Congratulations Lindsay.


Engineering & Environment

(Sponsored by OCS)

Melissa Hipwell

Melissa has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, she leads by example and is now a director at one of the country’s leading structural engineering firms.

Having set up the project management consulting group Melissa has lead the way in its growth financially and physically.

Melissa is leading a plan to go into schools to promote women’s role in engineering as a role model.

Having gained peer respect for her strong technical background, she gained chartered status whilst working full time as a single mum.

Well done Melissa.


Public Service

(Sponsored by Peterborough City Council)

Gillian Beasley OBE

Gillian’s impressive career has demonstrated great talent and competence in managing complex and large institutions in a visible, values led way, leading by example, rooted in a passion for and unwavering belief in public service.

The judges were particularly impressed with ground breaking work Gillian has led in challenging child sexual exploitation, regenerating business and communities and building community cohesion.

Her personal and professional commitment to making a positive difference to lives of the residents of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire was inspiring.


Business Services

(Sponsored by PJ Care)

Margo Leftly

Margo has shunned the more lucrative and traditional recruitment model to create an innovative business which is highly ethical in its approach to both candidates and clients, by understanding their skills and clients by understanding their requirements.

Margo’s business has the ability to transform sustainability in the NHS and healthcare organisations through cost savings and consistency of patient/client care.


Professional Services

(Sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson)

Janette Nicholls

Janette fought her way up to the top in a male dominated global industry.  She re-modelled the breakthrough in women leadership programme in Caterpillar to help support and promote women leaders in the UK

She also used her experience and professional skills to support a local community project to preserve the church building.

She is an outstanding role model for women looking for a career in professional services.


Emerging Leader – HIGHLY COMMENDED

(Sponsored by Peterborough City Council)

Micheala Russell

The judges were impressed with how Micheala demonstrated in her young years a clear path in her rise to success and were blown away by her dedication to her role and developing her team.

Her compassion shines through in all that she speaks of and is definitely one to watch in the future and could be next year’s Emerging Leader winner.


Emerging Leader – WINNER

(Sponsored by Peterborough City Council)

Alexa Hillier

Inspirational, dedicated and passionate Alexa impressed the judges with her motivation to go above and beyond to achieve excellence in her progression as well as her determination to improve her skills at the same time as giving back to the community.

It was clear to see she strives to lead by example and the sky’s the limit for Alexa.


Inspirational Male Supporting Women

(Partnered by The Business Cafe)

Neil Russell

Neil encourages people to learn from their mistakes, helping them to understand and try harder.  He does this by investing time to know his team.  Neil reaps the benefit of this as they give even more commitment by his supportive management style.

Supporting people to realise their potential with an ethos to promote and develop within the company.

Neil said he had a great role model in his mother which has informed and shaped his management style.  He sees and recognises a spark in people and treating them as individuals, so he understands how they ‘tick’.

A compelling point for the judges was that staff turnover in P J Care is 14% compared to a national industry average of 50%


Female Entrepreneur

(Sponsored by Roythornes Solicitors)

Joanne Bass

After her maternity leave in 2010 and being refused flexible working, Joanne took the opportunity to set up her own Company XL Displays at a time when the UK was still in recession.  Starting from home Joanne has grown her business to an annual turnover of £4.2 million employing 38 people based in a 6000 square foot premises in Peterborough.

XL Displays has grown to be an award winning company with Joanne winning the Nat West Every Woman award for the most inspirational woman running a business between 6 to 9 years.

Joanne is not sitting on her laurels and intends to continue growing her business by investing in both her staff and Technology.


Outstanding Contribution

(Sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson)

Eve Taylor OBE

Eve is now 85 years of age and continues to have a daily hands on approach to her business, which is now in its 54th year.  She is still passionate about everything she does and imparts her ‘can do’ attitude, knowledge and experience to others.  Education is important to her and sees it as vital when using it in her business to help others.

In 2007 Eve was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the global recognition of aromatherapy as an alternative therapy and she is recognised as one of the worlds leading pioneers of aromatherapy techniques that are used worldwide and for her work throughout her life in professional beauty therapy education with organisations such as City & Guilds and CIDESCO

Eve is dedicated to her cause – to her family – to her business and sees no reason to retire or to stop what she loves.  She considers her customers and their journeys and ensures they are supported and guided from ‘cradle to grave’.


Gillian Beasley OBE

From the time Gillian arrived as a child protection lawyer for the council to her time as chief Exec, Gillian has extoled the virtues of and vigorously promoted Peterborough, quite literally to the four corners of the globe.

Gillian has made Peterborough her home and has turned down many offers from larger authorities to remain true to this city she cares so passionately about.

Gillian has been instrumental in attracting inward investment into our city, ensuring growth, regeneration and jobs creation. She has overseen many transformational and innovative ways of working for an authority, ensuring Peterborough is one of the most respected local authorities in the country. She was the first and is still the only chief Executive of two tier one authorities.

Gillian has chaired national charities and has influenced the lives of many thousands of people. She is seen by all communities as a leading light and an exemplar in creating a harmonious city which is hugely ethnically diverse and her soft skills have been as impactful as her business skills as Chief Executive.

Gillian has continually supported charitable causes for the greater good of this city, from sleeping rough to understand the plight of the homeless and on to the point of breaking a hip in training for our half marathon and ending up in intensive care whilst in the Sahara Desert all to raise funds for those Peterborough citizens who need her help.

Her energy and enthusiasm for this city knows no bounds and she is a shining example to us all, especially the city’s aspiring Women Leaders.