The best of British female talent has been recognised at this year’s Women of the Future Awards.
Entrepreneur and businesswoman Hayley Gait-Golding was amongst 8 of Britain’s most inspirational young women recognised at the 2011 Women of the Future Awards in London last night (16 November).
Hayley, 29, who sold her own house to fund her dream of creating the successful healthy snack company BEAR nibbles, was named Entrepreneur of the Future in her highly contested category.
Launching in 2009 as a self-funded start up, BEAR nibbles is now a nationally stocked brand after only two years.
Held in association with Shell and attended by HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan, Cherie Blair and wife of Deputy Prime Minister, Miriam González Durántez, the awards were established by Pinky Lilani OBE and Caspian Media in 2006 to identify the next generation of British female talent.
The awards are dedicated to women aged 35 and under, across business, the professions, the arts, media and science and technology sectors.
Also recognised was 22-year-old Zoe Jackson, who scooped the Women of the Future award in Arts, Media and Culture. Zoe created her own youth-led performing arts company at only 16-years-old to inspire other young people, and was predicted by the judges to be 'pivotal in the performing arts industry very soon'.
Other winners were (full winners’ biographies in the Notes to Editors):
- Business Woman of the Future: CJ Antal–Smith, aged 34, category director for ASDA
- Professional Woman of the Future: Layla McCay, aged 30, Assistant Medical Director, BUPA
- Woman of the Future in Public Service: Elizabeth Anderson, aged 26, Head of Foundation Affairs at The Aldridge Foundation
- Woman of the Future in Science and Technology: Dr Kylie Vincent, aged 35, RCUK Fellow in Chemistry, University of Oxford
- The MBA Star Award: Noa Epstein, aged 29, Consultant, Google (Cambridge Judge Business School)
- Young Star Award: Shareen Khaliq, aged 19, from Mulberry School for Girls. Highly commended in this category was 18-year-old Hannah Blyth who discovered two new asteroids during a work experience placement
- Mentor of the Year: Dr Jenny Higham, Director of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College
- Women of the Future Corporate Award: Sky
Awards were made by a host of VIP guests including HRH The Princess Royal, Cherie Blair, Miriam González Durántez, The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, Director-General of the CBI John Cridland and celebrity writer and broadcaster - (and previous winner) Dawn Porter.
Previous Women of the Future winners include: beauty entrepreneur Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc; online retail supremo Holly Tucker of notonthehighstreet.com; Lisa Smosarski, launch editor of ‘freemium’ magazine Stylist which recently celebrated its 100th issue; and Sam Smith, one of the youngest and only female CEOs of a City broker.
Sally Martin, Vice President of Commercial Services for Shell Global Solutions, said: "The women recognised tonight are truly fabulous examples of hope and excellence, many of whom have knocked down doors and are now pioneers in their respective fields.
"The Women of the Future Awards have become an incredible platform for identifying these role models, capable of inspiring, educating and leading the next generation of women to pursue their goals, and Shell is proud of its continuing involvement."
Pinky Lilani OBE, said: "Women are achieving more than ever before. The Women of the Future Awards are now in their sixth year, and each ceremony continues to unearth truly exceptional talent and promise for the future.
"Just looking at this year’s shortlist and winners, you get a real sense that there is hope and optimism for the British economy.
"Honouring these women is important as not only does it give such exceptional women the springboard they need to capitalise on future success; it also highlights them as role models for other young women waiting in the wings.
"Ultimately, these awards endeavour to prove that, no matter what your age or gender, anything is achievable."