Winners: Grace Dyke, director of media and communications social enterprise Yellow Jigsaw and CEO of
Kirsty Day

Five NW winners at Northern Power Women awards

FIVE inspirational winners from across the North West have been crowned in the first Northern Power Women (NPW) awards.

More than 400 people enjoyed the awards at Manchester Hilton Hotel on March 3, which saw 51 people shortlisted in nine categories that had been selected from 700 nominations.

NPW awards, hosted by BBC Newsround presenter Leah Boleto, were open to men and women and were launched to recognise, showcase and celebrate the exceptional role models, who are supporting gender equality across the Northern Powerhouse region.

The Outstanding Entrepreneur award went to Rachel Ray, who started Bright and Beautiful, a professional housekeeping franchise business in Altrincham, in 2007 and now has more than 50 franchises nationwide, employs 460 people and has a £5 million turnover.

The best Medium Business was given to Audenshaw-based Brother UK Ltd – an information, communication and technology services provider.

The Transformational Leader was named as Wigan City Council chief executive, Donna Hall, who spearheaded the ‘Believe in Her campaign’ to raise aspirations of Wigan women in the workplace and in the face of high levels of domestic violence.

Wigan also crowed another winner, Grace Dyke, director of Greater Manchester PR and communications agency Yellow Jigsaw, who walked away as One to Watch, for her successful women in business campaign #imnotjohn that reached half a million people from Manchester to Manhattan.

Grace, Springfield, Wigan said: “I am delighted the #imnotjohn campaign has been given such recognition, and I will be taking further steps to help secure gender equality. The Northern Power Women movement has illustrated the vast amount of talent and passion in the north.”

Jacquie Johnston-Lynch from Merseyside who created the UK’s first non-alcoholic bar, The Brink, and more recently the UK’s first military veteran addiction treatment centre, both in Liverpool, was crowned as the Person with Purpose.

Other winners across the North included; Mentor of the Year to Dermot Boyd, CEO of QVC UK and BBC presenter Steph McGovern was crowned the winner in the Agent of Change category. Best Small Business went to North Humberside-based Heald Ltd and best Large Business was train operators Northern Rail.

Simone Roche, founder of Northern Power Women, said: “Congratulations to all the award winners and shortlisted nominees. I am really proud that the Northern Power Women campaign is driving gender diversity and shifting the culture of business by recognising, showcasing and celebrating role models.

“The next steps from the buzz around the awards will be to mobilise the amazing role models across the North to help make fair access and equality a reality for all. NPW Awards is not just a glitzy ceremony; this is a campaign for culture change that begins now.”

Also announced on the evening were the first Top 50 Power and Future List, illustrating the vast amount of established and emerging talent across the north.

Now the NPW campaign, which has already seen support from MPs Caroline Dinenage Parliamentary Under State for Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Family Justice and James Wharton, Northern Powerhouse Minister, will offer a legacy of bringing business and education together by connecting students with nominees and winners of the awards via speed mentoring events.

To see the full power lists and for more information on Northern Power Women log on to or follow @NorthPowerWomen

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