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Awards celebrate the women blazing the leadership trail

THE SEARCH is under way for women making an outstanding contribution in their field as the countdown begins to this year’s Women Leaders UK Awards.

A total 14 will be presented, along with one Outstanding Contribution honour for the entry that stands out above all others.

The awards are a reflection of reports confirming that the high proportion of female business owners in Milton Keynes is a key factor driving the city’s economic success.  Independent urban policy research unit Centre for Cities says Milton Keynes is the UK’s “most dynamic business environment” in the UK outside London while card payments company Paymentsense says the city is the best place in the country to start a business.  Business start-ups have a greater chance of thriving here than anywhere else – almost a third of companies in Milton Keynes are owned by women, it adds.

“This is why organisations like Women Leaders are so important in continuing our city’s economic development,” says Women Leaders UK chair Dr Julie Mills pictured top, who retired as group chief executive and principal of Milton Keynes College Group last year.

“All the evidence shows that creating an environment where women can be entrepreneurial adds a whole new dimension to productivity.  It’s also no coincidence that the gender pay gap is narrowing more quickly here than in many other places – another strong indicator of an economy with better balance to be successful.”

The winners, chosen by an independent judging panel from a shortlist of finalists, will be announced at a gala awards dinner at Stadium MK on June 7.

“These awards are about individual women rather than the organisations they work for,” says Dr Mills. “We are looking to find women at all levels of leadership who are exceptional in what they do.”

Women Leaders UK has partnered with Formula One world champions Oracle Red Bull Racing, based at Tilbrook, to deliver the 2023 Women Leaders UK Awards, with data software specialist Aiimi – whose head office is in Central Milton Keynes – also confirmed as a sponsor.

Oracle Red Bull Racing team principal and chief executive Christian Horner pictured said: “I am incredibly proud of who we are and what we do, both on-track and here in Milton Keynes on the Red Bull Technology Campus. We have an extremely talented group of women working across our organisation, so partnering with Women Leaders UK to celebrate women who make an outstanding contribution in their field is a perfect fit for us. We also welcome any opportunity to inspire more women into STEM careers and all areas of Formula One.”

The awards are back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.  The 2020 awards were presented online as the first lockdown began to ease.

“I am really excited,” says Dr Mills. “Celebrating the awards online was brilliant but there is nothing like coming together in person to celebrate.”

Applications for the award categories can be submitted online at womenleadersuk.org. From those, the judges will draw up a shortlist of finalists who will then go through an interview process by a separate judging panel to decide the winner in each category.


  • Community Impact (Employed)
  • Community Impact (Volunteer)
  • Art, Culture & the Creative Industries
  • Sport, Leisure & Retail Industries
  • Manufacturing & Construction Industries
  • Digital & Technology
  • Skills, Education & Training
  • Engineering, Science & Maths
  • Healthcare
  • Public Services
  • Professional Services
  • Emerging Leader
  • Entrepreneur
  • #NoneOfTheAbove
  • Outstanding Contribution

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