Winners and Finalist in Colour, the EMWA 2018

WINNER of the 
East Midlands Inspirational Female Leader of the Year 2018 is Professor Rachel  Thomson

Professor Thomson is an international researcher and Professor of Materials Engineering at Loughborough University.  Professor Thomson has recently become the first female Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The East Midlands Inspirational Female Leader Award 2018 was presented by presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire Michael Kapur, Esq OBE

Prof. Rachel Thomson, Winner of the Outstanding Woman in STEM Award presented by Paul Boyle Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester.  

Professor Thomson also won the Outstanding Women in STEM Award 2018.


Other Award Winners and Finalist 

Karen Williams.  Award sponsored and presented by Sonia Thompson, Chair, WIMUK.

Outstanding Woman of Community Impact   – Charity & Voluntary Award 2018 - WINNER: Karen Williams, Founder of  The Buddy Bag Foundation a charity based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.






Finalist: Jenny Hand, CEO, Reaching People (the trading name of Leicestershire Voluntary Sector Resource Agency) based in Leicester.



Dr. Emma Parker, Associate Professor in English Lecturer, University of Leicester.   Award sponsored and presented by Kevin Urquhart, Founder DLuXe Magazine (Picture left).

Outstanding Woman in Arts, Media & Music Award 2018 WINNER:  Dr. Emma Parker, Associate Professor in English Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Leicester.





Finalist: Amanda Leandro, Owner/Director Cosmopolitan Arts



Pawlet Brookes, CEO, Serendipity UK.   Award sponsored and presented by Nick Quinn, Director, St Martins Lodge.


Outstanding BME Female Leader of the Year Award 2018 - WINNER:   Pawlet Brookes, CEO & Director, Serendipity UK, based in Leicester.





Finalist:  Iris Lightfoote, CEO, Race Equality Centre based in Leicester.




Farhana Sheikh.  Award sponsored and presented by Beverley Sankey, Healthy Living.

Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2018 - WINNER: Farhana Sheikh, National Account Manager, Clifton Packaging, based in Leicester.






Finalist:  Carla Garey, Managing Director, Saffron Catering based in Derbyshire.





Jennifer Fenelon.  Award sponsored by Uppingham First, presented by Ron Simpson BEM.


Outstanding Woman in Public Services Award 2018WINNER:  Jennifer Fenelon, Retired Chair, Healthwatch Rutland, Uppingham, Rutland.






Finalist:  Claire-Marie Cuthbert, CEO, The Evolve Trust, based in Mansfield, Nottingham.




Joint Winners: Karen Cureton & Helen Stewart.   Award presented by Professor Turi King, University of Leicester.

Outstanding Woman in Professional Services Award 2018WINNERS: Karen Cureton & Helen Stewart     


Karen is Managing Director of Cureton Consulting based in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire. (Left in photo).

Helen is Director of Whats the Message? Ltd based in Leicester.  (Centre in photo).


Finalist:  Caroline Hopkinson, Managing Director, Emerald Accountancy Services Ltd, based in Chesterfield.




Claire-Marie Cuthbert. Award presented by Sonia Thompson, Chair WIMUK.


Outstanding Female Leader in a Market Town Award 2018 - Winner: Claire-Marie CuthbertCEO, The Evolve Trust, based in Mansfield, Nottingham.





Finalist: Natasha Mina, Kickboxing Coach, based in Leicester.







Vijay Mistry. Award Presented by Sandra Pollock, Founder EMWA.

Inspirational Male Supporting Women Leaders Award 2018 -  Winner: Vijay Mistry, Founder, 2Funky Empire, based in Leicester.







Finalist:  Jag Johal, Founder, The Leicester Kickboxing Club, based in Leicester.





Special Awards

Yvette Price-MearLife Time Achievement Award in Voluntary Services 2018 

Charity Founder,  Yvette has been very active in doing voluntary work and fundraising in our community for the past 45 years - since she was a teenager!  She has raised well over £500,000 for various Charities over the years.

Yvette lives in Nottingham.


Professor Emma Bunce - Special Recognition Award - Outstanding Achievements in Science, Space & Astrophysics 2018

Emma Bunce is Professor of Planetary Plasma Physics Emma is a Professor of Planetary Plasma Physics at the University of Leicester.

She is the lead Principle Investigator on the European Space Agency BepiColumbo MIXS instrument and its sister SIZS instrument on the same space mission. The Bepi Columbo Mission to Mercury launches this October



For more information please email

Photograph Credit: Smilin Occasionz


Huge congratulations to all the Winners and Finalists.

Keep connected to find out about the Midlands Women's Ambassadors,

announced at the Awards.



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