Northern Ireland Women Celebrated as Best in the Business at Prestigious Awards Ceremony

  • Northern Ireland's exceptional businesswomen were celebrated for their outstanding achievements at the 2024 Women in Business Awards on Thursday evening when a sell-out audience of more than 550 filled Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

    Now in its 12th year, the 2024 ceremony brought together female entrepreneurs and businesswomen from all sectors to recognise, reward and celebrate the very best of local talent at the only ceremony of its kind in Northern Ireland.

    Sponsored by Virgin Media O2 Business for the sixth consecutive year, the Awards set a new record with more than 230 submissions, and on the night honoured eighteen inspiring women and one outstanding business organisation.

    The highly acclaimed Business Woman of the Year 2024 award, sponsored by Virgin Media O2 Business, was presented to Vicky Davies, Chief Executive of Danske Bank whose career in the banking sector spans two decades. In 2016, Davies became the bank’s first ever female executive board director and later Danske’s first women CEO in its 200-year history. She is the current Chair of Business in the Community Northern Ireland and last year led Danske Bank to its best ever business performance.

    New to the ceremony for 2024 was the Outstanding Apprentice category, sponsored by NIE Networks, awarded to Tammy Dodds who in her role at Arup proved herself to be an extremely competent and conscientious apprentice engineer. 

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    The 2024 Women in Business Award winners are:

    • Award for Advancing Diversity in the Workplace (sponsored by Queen’s University Business School)
      • Individual Winner – Fernanda Soares (Version 1)
      • Organisation Winner – Belfast Harbour
    • Award for Best Green Business (sponsored by Version 1)
      • Corporate Winner – Judy McElroy (NIE Networks)
      • Small Business Winner – Gillian McKee (Giraffe Associates)
    • Award for Best Customer Service (sponsored by Irish News)
      • Corporate Winner – Charlotte O’Kane (Spirit Aerosystems)
      • Small Business Winner – Louise Crothers (R L Services Plant Hire & Training)
    • Award for Outstanding Mentor (sponsored by Tarasis Enterprises)
      • Winner – Melanie Thrush (Arup)
    • Award for Best Small Business (sponsored by Danske Bank)
      • Winner – Gemma Murphy (Jack Murphy Jewellers)
    • Award for Best New Start Up (sponsored by Go Succeed)
      • Winner – Louise Adams (Cultshe)
    • Award for Best Marketing Campaign (sponsored by TP ICAP)
      • Corporate Winner – Sarah Owens (GLL)
      • Small Business Winner – Deborah Loughran (Kings Communication)
    • Award for Outstanding Innovation (sponsored by Belfast Harbour)
      • Winner – Brigid Derry (Derry Bros Shipping & Customs Clearance)
    • Award for Outstanding Apprentice (sponsored by NIE Networks)
      • Winner – Tammy Dodds (Arup)
    • Award for Excellence in IT (sponsored by Deloitte)
      • Winner – Loraa White (Music Video Marketplace)
    • Award for Best in Professional Services (sponsored by IQ&Co.)
      • Corporate Winner – Micaela Diver (A&L Goodbody)
      • Small Business Winner – Angela Montgomery (Pytilia)
    • Outstanding Management and Leadership (sponsored by Wilson Nesbitt)
      • Winner – Lorna McAdoo (Version 1)
    • Award for Young Business Woman of the Year (sponsored by Allstate NI)
      • Winner – Ashleigh Averell (ibrand)
    • Award for Business Woman of the Year (sponsored by Virgin Media O2 Business)
      • Winner – Vicky Davies (Danske Bank)

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    Jo Bertram, Managing Director at Virgin Media O2 Business, said: “Virgin Media O2 Business are committed to championing women and celebrating their impact within local business communities across Northern Ireland. We’re proud to sponsor the Women in Business Awards for the sixth consecutive year to recognise exceptional businesswomen. All the winners and nominees should be incredibly proud of their achievements, which will inspire other women and accelerate the journey towards workplace gender parity.”

    Women in Business Managing Director, Lorraine Acheson added: “Bringing together this incredible group of businesswomen who have each excelled in their field and made hugely significant contributions to the Northern Ireland economy is a year-round highlight on the Women in Business calendar.

    “Our 12th Awards ceremony was a room full of amazing talent as Women in Business continues to not only celebrate, but empower and inspire women to achieve their business ambitions. Congratulations to all of the 2024 winners and finalists, we wish you every success in your future endeavours.”

    Source: Written from press release 

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