Gentoo backs Wearside Women in Business Awards in search for Sunderland's inspirational female entrepreneurs

An inspiring company is backing Sunderland’s search to find women who are leading by example in industry.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 4:21 pm
The sponsors for the Wearside Women In Business Awards.

Our brand new Wearside Women In Business awards has the support of Gentoo Group.

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director (Operations) at the housing association, explained why it was so important to get involved.

She said: “Sunderland is at the heart of Gentoo and we are thrilled to be part of a project that recognises the invaluable contribution women make across multiple industries in the city.

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Michelle Meldrum.

“We actively engage in diverse partnerships and back a number of community events to support children, young people and adults achieve their full potential, including our annual talent competition ‘Genfactor’.

Statistics show 40% of the senior leadership team at Gentoo is female and 42% of the total workforce is female.

Michelle praised the women who were already making their mark on Wearside business and described them as ‘great leaders in industry’, encouraging people to put forward their own examples of females who were making a difference in the business world.

We have a line-up of six great organisations who are all sponsoring the first ever Wearside Women In Business Awards.

They are Sunderland BIC, Gentoo, Club Zest, MBC Arts Wellbeing, TCL At Home and UK Fostering North East, and they have all joined the Sunderland Echo in the quest to find the city’s best.

The categories:

Start Up Business Woman of the Year

Open to all growing businesses that have started trading since September 2013 and which are owned, part owned or wholly or partly run by a woman.

Business Woman of the Year

Recognising Wearsides most successful business women, these women need to show the great drive, dedication and determination that has made a difference in their working environment. Women who juggle all aspects of their lives with great results, women who may also be an outstanding mothers, leaders and role models.

Rising Star of the Year

(under 16s) She may be a star of the present... or of the future. This award is also open for colleges and schools to nominate.

Female Apprentice of the Year

Judges will be looking for a demonstration of hard work and commitment to achieving the best possible results across the apprentice’s chosen framework and outstanding commitment to their own personal development and progression through learning.

Contribution to Community

For the woman who has made a difference to her immediate and/or the wider Weaside community.

Women in Education Award

We are looking for someone working in education who has gone that extra mile for children, teenagers or students or the company workforce.

Mentor of the Year

For the woman who has demonstrated exceptional skills as a mentor.

Inspirational Woman of the Year

The ability to inspire people to reach great heights of performance and success

Lifetime Achievement Award

What now?

You have until September 2 to send us your entries and the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist three days later.

Then it is on to the grand finale – a lunchtime awards ceremony on Thursday, September 26.

But for now, we need your nominations to make the event a big success. Email [email protected] and tell us the name, address, business of your nominated person and why you feel they deserve to win.

Or alternatively, send your entries to