Leadership Summit & Awards 2022

Unstoppable Women

With this year’s theme being “unstoppable women”, we are celebrating women who are showing exceptional leadership abilities in their teams, challenging and breaking glass ceilings and uplifting communities across the entire UK and globe. These women are changing the world with their craft, talents, creativity, eloquence, leadership and impacting generations all around the world.

The FL Leadership and Summit Awards will bring together women from all fields, organizations, industries and backgrounds to discuss their journeys and careers and celebrate their exceptional leadership.

We are bringing together carefully curated expert panels, as well as industry-leading speakers to share thoughts on how we create a safer, healthier and more gender-balanced working environment for all.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Meet TheJudges

Debra White

Rt. Customer Experience Director

Small Business Banking, HSBC

Recently retired Customer Experience Director, Small Business Banking, HSBC UK Debra White has been a Retail and Commercial Banker with HSBC Group for the last 40 years and in September 2016 took on the national role of Customer Experience Director for Business Banking Small Business. Previously Debra was the Regional Director for Small Business in the North region.

Debra spent three years as a Retail Area Manager developing a team of twenty Branch Managers in West Yorkshire and leading the Premier and Wealth proposition. Following this Debra was a Retail Branch Manager at key flagship branches in Huddersfield, York and then became a Branch Director in Leeds City delivering strategy and leading a customer service ethos. In her retirement Debra is now the secretary and volunteer at a local foodbank and NHS Responder.  

Ali Gayward

UK Country Manager


Ali has over thirty years’ experience in the travel industry working with British Airways, American Express Travel, Sabre, American Airlines, ASM, AG Consultancy and now easyJet.

Ali is easyJet’s UK Country Manager, responsible for enabling easyJet to create the winning environment in the UK and overseas. Responsibilities include being the ‘face and voice’ of easyJet, building and maintaining active external relationships with local government, regulatory bodies, media/press, airports and tourism bodies. Ali is responsible for the revenue, profit contribution and route performance of flights operating both from the UK and also in some overseas markets.

Ali has direct responsibility for 58 aircraft, contributing to easyJet’s £1.01 billion worth of revenues each year in the UK.

Lara Oresanya

Group General Counsel, Company Secretary, And C-Suite Executive


Group General Counsel, Company Secretary, and C-Suite Executive at WorldRemit, a digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services in more than 130 countries and over 70 currencies.

An experienced solicitor with a demonstrated history of working in Fintech, the financial services sector that is skilled in regulatory, payments, enterprise risk management, consumer protection, small medium enterprise, offshore, and commercial banking. Co-opted Member, Committee on Benefactions External and Legal Affairs (CBELA), University of Cambridge. A Non-Executive Director, Plan International UK, Shaw Trust, and PensionBee Group plc. A Contributing Editor, LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Banking Law and a Member of the Consulting Editorial Board, LexisPSL©.

A Fellow of The RSA and ‘Business Woman of the Year’ & ‘Corporate Leader’, 2018 FL National Awards. Ranked in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021. 2022 ‘Woman in Legal’ winner of the Women4Africa Award. Formerly, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer, Contis, legal director at Klarna, senior legal counsel at Barclays and BAE Systems, a divisional counsel at RAC, a legal director at HBOS (Lloyds Banking Group), and Group Head of Legal at Lex (Lex Autolease).

Also a barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a law graduate (LL.B Hons)  of the University of Lagos with an LL.M in Comparative Company Law.

Lisa Kelly

Head of BTC UK & Ireland

BTC UK & Ireland

Lisa assumed the role of Head of BTC UK & Ireland in January 2016. She is also a member of the BASF Plc Leadership team. Having a strong passion for diversity & inclusion, Lisa represents BASF with WISE (Women in Science and Engineering). She also currently Chairs the Executive Committee for BACS (British Association for Chemical Specialities)

Her working career started as a Laboratory Technician at Magnesium Elektron (part of British Alcan) and then as a Sales Correspondent at Degussa Ltd.

Having joined the Fine Chemical Sales business at BASF plc in 1989, Lisa was delegated to Switzerland between 2001-2004 where she was North Europe Aroma Chemicals Manager. On her return to the UK she became Head of Sales Detergents & Formulators for BTC UK, BASF’s in-house chemical distribution company.

Professor George Lodorfos

Dean of Leeds Business School

Leeds Beckett University

Professor George Lodorfos is Dean of Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett University.

He is an electrical and electronic engineer by first degree, he holds Masters degrees in Automation and Control as well as in Innovation and Technology Management, and a PhD in Strategic Management of Research and Development. In addition, he has supervised to completion and he has examined many PhDs both in the UK and Europe and is an external examiner for two UK universities.

He has extensive practical and academic experience in the field of Strategic Management, R&D and Adoption of New Technologies and Innovation. In addition, he has done extensive research and enterprise work in the areas of buyer behaviour with particular interest in online purchasing and the use of technology to enable the sustainable growth of businesses.

Sahar Hashemi


Coffee Republic

In 1995 Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with a turnover of £30m. Giving up a job as a lawyer in London, she staked everything on a dream – and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that transformed a nation of tea drinkers into one obsessed with ‘triple half-caf lattes’.

Ajaz Ahmed



Ajaz Ahmed is best known for being the founder of Freeserve, which was once the UK’s largest ISP and is now known as Orange broadband. He came up with the idea when he bought a computer and nobody in the store could tell him how to get into the internet, the rest, as they say, is history. He persuaded Dixons to launch Freeserve and it was eventually sold by Dixons to France Telecom for £1.6bn.

Emma Davies


Grant Thornton

Emma is a partner at Grant Thornton, one of the UK’s largest professional services firms. She is Practice Leader of the Sheffield office and a partner in their national Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) team. Emma’s passion is helping finance directors and their teams navigate change and periods of intense activity, by providing practical and pragmatic solutions based on her prior experience of working in senior finance roles in a variety of companies.

FAAS supports clients who need to strengthen their finance teams with our high-quality interim solution or need additional financial reporting expertise. She works with a wide range of businesses, from international listed groups to privately-owned, fast-growing dynamic companies. She is passionate about her role, takes pride in developing people and building long term relationships with clients and the wider business community. She believes in a strong network and that collaboration and working together is the key to success. She is involved in the D&I agenda and has a particular interest in coaching and mentoring other women who want to progress in their careers.

Outside of work, Emma’s family keep her very busy, and she loves cooking, her garden and the great outdoors.

Julianne Antrobus

Nuclear Energy Specialist

Julianne is a nuclear energy specialist with over 20 years experience of working in the sector in strategic, commercial and operational roles. She describes herself as “a passionate leader who works with an exceptional team and delivers success by building high performing teams and creating an environment of empowerment, inclusivity, respect, trust and most importantly fun”.

She encourages the next generation through being an active Mentor on the 30% Club Mentoring Programme, Partner sponsor of PA Women’s Network and Senior Advisor to Women in Nuclear Executive. She is a passionate and award winning STEM ambassador who proactively seeks out opportunities to give as many young people access to a career in STEM.

In 2019, Julianne won the Forward Ladies STEM Leader of the Year award, and is now sitting on the other side of the table as a judge.

Hannah Duraid

CEO & Founder

Gameshow All-Stars

Hannah Duraid is a Multi-Award-Winning young entrepreneur behind the escape room attraction, The Great Escape Game. A fully immersive experience where customers enter into a themed, Crystal-maze style adventure and must solve a series of puzzles to escape before their time runs out.

Launched in 2015, today the business has developed across three sites, boasting bars and kitchens, 17 escape room experiences, as well as being proud to be home to Yorkshire’s only 18+ escape game, that was featured on channel 4’s “Don’t Tell the Bride”.

As well as this Hannah consults for a femtech company, Hyivy Health.

Meet TheSpeakers

Griselda Togobo


Forward Ladies

Griselda began her career as an electrical engineer, she then veered into business having been influenced by the challenges and successes that her parents experienced as entrepreneurs. She trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with one of the BIG 4 professional services firms but now runs her own businesses, Forward Ladies included. Griselda is a mother of two beautiful children. She is extremely passionate about positively impacting the future of women and girls in the workforce. Griselda joined Forward Ladies as a member and was hooked.

Anna Keeling


Boeing Defence, UK

Anna joined Boeing as Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK in 2019 from GKN Aerospace. She is responsible for Boeing UK’s significant defence programmes, people and sites and the organisation’s growth, alignment and business development. Boeing, across all businesses, operates at 65 sites and employs 2,500 people directly and many more through a significant domestic supply chain. 

Anna has two decades of global leadership experience in the aerospace and automotive sectors. Before joining Boeing, she was Senior Vice President of Business Transformation, leading GKN’s business improvement plan to drive profit, margin and cash and Senior Vice President of Commercial, where she assumed responsibility for all of GKN Aerospace’s global commercial governance and ensured an aligned customer strategy across the business.

Marcella Allison

CEO and MD

Copy Harvest LLC & The Mentoress Collection

Marcella Allison is the CEO of Copy Harvest LLC and the founder of the Mentoress Collective (formerly Titanides Mentoring Collective), an organisation dedicated to promoting female freelancers, entrepreneurs, and copywriters. Learn more at sexistsecret.com.

As a copywriter, she works with some of the top direct-response companies in the industry. She has written for The Motley Fool, BottomLine, Inc., Advanced Bionutritionals, Money Map Press, Metabolic Living, The Bo Eason Group, and more. Her copy has generated over $100 million in sales for financial trading services, alternative health supplements, and information products.
As a mentor and copy chief, she designed and led Money Map Press’s proprietary training program for in-house and freelance copywriters. Today, she mentors over 1,200 women in the Mentoress Collective.
In 2018, Marcella was awarded Copywriter of the Year by American Writers and Artists Inc. for her outstanding performance record and impact on the copywriting industry. She’s a featured speaker at industry events, including AWAI’s Copywriting Success Bootcamp, Copy Chief LIVE, and The Copywriter Club In Real Life.

Marcella is the co-author of, Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me This Sh*t Before? A collection of wit and wisdom from women in business. As the founder of the Mentoress Collective she is dedicated to helping women go as fierce and far in business and life as they desire.

Alex Depledge



Alex Depledge is one of the leading female lights in the UK tech scene. An innovative, principled and inspiring businesswoman, she co-founded the pioneering Hassle.com, which sold for £27 million in 2015.

She has now started Resi, a groundbreaking online architectural service that is revolutionising how Britons renovate.

Alex was the FL Awards overall Business Woman of the Year winner in 2019.

Susie Cummings



Susie works on board-level appointments across all sectors. After a 30-year career as a traditional headhunter, Susie had one of those lightbulb moments when realising that, in the digital age, there had to be a better way of hiring new board members. 

In 2014, Susie founded Nurole, the global platform changing how organisations bring the best people onto their boards. The approach combines smart technology and industry experts to transform the boards of multinationals, start-ups, charities, government bodies and everything in between. The Financial Times named Nurole one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in both 2019 and 2020.

Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris



Dr Suzanne Doyle-Morris, speaker, executive coach and author, has been improving the lives of women working in male-dominated professional services and STEM fields since 1998.  She’s known for 2500+ ICF-accredited executive coaching hours, 200+ organisational presentations, 110 YouTube ‘how-to’ videos, 3 best-selling career development books, 1 Cambridge PhD… and a partridge in a pear tree.

Raised in the U.S., SDM’s presentations have an international flavour. Now in Scotland, she’s lived and worked in five countries over the last few decades. Her audiences reflect this and are drawn from the UK and USA as well as across Europe and the Middle East.

Sarah Haran


Sarah’s Luxury Handbags

Sarah Haran was the Chief Operating Officer and Board Director of iomart Group Plc, a cloud computing IT business where Sarah was part of the founding team and the first employee. Under her stewardship, iomart grew from zero revenues to £100 million. 

In March 2017 Sarah decided to focus her attention on her hobby handbag business where she had been inspired by her business life to design the perfect handbag for women. Sarah designs handbags & accessories that are the perfect balance of beauty & function. Primarily an e-commerce business, Sarah aims to bring joy to her customers.

Emma-Jane Tarabay

Partnerships and Editorial Manager

Cohorted Communications

A 24-year-old lifestyle content creator and the Partnerships and Editorial Manager at Cohorted Communications, based in Leeds. Emma considers herself a mental health advocate, being completely transparent about her journey with depression and anxiety alongside her studies and the influence this has on her post-graduation journey. As she progresses more into her professional career, she recognises more than ever how necessary it is to discuss mental health daily. 

Since receiving the Forward Ladies award for ‘Most Aspirational Student’, she has worked closely with FL as a Future Generation Brand Ambassador.

Andrea Reynolds



Andrea Reynolds developed Swoop. She is amazing at recognising her strengths and her passions. She had the opportunity to move on to larger businesses within her career but her passion was with SMEs. She created a platform that fits SMEs with their best funding options so that they can reach their potential and so grow into those larger businesses she originally decided not to work with. Her passion is helping the little guys grow into the big fish. Where are your strengths? Where is your passion? That’s where you should focus!

Scarlett Allen-Horton


Harper Fox Partners

Scarlett Allen-Horton is a top-performing international executive search recruiter; equality, diversity and inclusion specialist and founder of Harper Fox Search Partners, a top executive search firm with a passion for placing senior female and ethnic minority talent across the engineering and energy sectors.

In addition, Scarlett is a finalist of the acclaimed BBC Apprentice Television Show, business partner to British business magnate Lord Sugar, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and proud ambassador for WE:ARE domestic abuse freedom empowerment charity.

Meet TheWinners

Sheridan Ash

Leader in Technology Innovation at PwC, and Founder and Co-CEO of charity Tech She Can

PwC, Tech She Can

Carlotta Zorzi

UK Partnerships Manager


Dawn Childs

CEO, Operations

Pure Data Centres Group

Georgina Merckel

Business Owner

The Organised Personal Assistant

Jillian Thomas

Managing Director

Future Life Wealth Management

Jodie Hill

Managing Partner

Thrive Law

Khadija Owusu


National Health Service

Maria Peggs

Founder and CEO

Vispera Limited

Noel-Ann Bradshaw

Professor of Operational Research and Mathematics Education

University of Greenwich


Business Woman of The Year

Sheridan Ash, Leader in Technology Innovation at PwC, and Founder and Co-CEO of charity Tech She Can, PwC, Tech She Can.

Disruptor / Innovator of the Year

Mae Yip, Co-Founder, ERIC.

Education / Academic Leader of the Year

Noel-Ann Bradshaw, Professor of Operational Research and Mathematics Education, University of Greenwich.

Emerging Leader of the Year

Carlotta Zorzi, UK Partnerships Manager, Shopify.

Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Christina Lawford-Potter, CEO and Founder, DiamondAir International.

Inspiring Mentor of the Year

Maria Peggs, Founder and CEO, Vispera Limited.

Rising Star of the Year

Khadija Owusu, Doctor, National Health Service.

Social Impact of the Year

Sheridan Ash, Leader in Technology Innovation at PwC, and Founder and Co-CEO of charity Tech She Can, PwC, Tech She Can.

Start Up of the Year

Jodie Hill, Managing Partner, Thrive Law.

STEM Leader of the Year

Dawn Childs, CEO, Operations, Pure Data Centres Group.

Transformational Leader of the Year

Jillian Thomas, Managing Director, Future Life Wealth Management.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Georgina Merckel, Business Owner, The Organised Personal Assistant.

Awards Categories

Entrepreneur Categories

These categories celebrate entrepreneurs. They are the women who founded or run businesses and maintain control and interest in their business.

Start Up of the Year

This award is for women who have started a new business and is within the first 5 years of trading.

Start Up of the Year
Female Entrepreneur of the Year

This award is for women who own or run a business. The must been trading for more than 5 years with demonstrable growth.

Disruptor / Innovator of the Year

Recognises an individual who demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to solving problems or product innovation.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

This award is for women under 30 who own or run their own business. The applicant should ideally be able to demonstrate their current involvement in the successful business venture.

Corporate Categories

These categories celebrate female leaders and rising stars

Transformational Leader of the Year

This award is for women who are working in a leadership role. These women will have had 15+ years of experience of leadership and evidence they have driven the business forward with exceptional results. They will also have evidence of mentoring people along with examples of community engagement.

Emerging Leader of the Year

This category is for women working less than 15 years within an organisation large or small. They should demonstrate personal and business progression, demonstrating leadership potential.

Rising Star of the Year

The Rising Star Award is about celebrating and recognising the achievements of those at the beginning of their career or new in an industry.

STEM Leader of the Year

This award is for women in a senior position working within the male dominated sectors such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They should be able to demonstrate the positive impact of their role to the industry in which they work and show examples of how they have encouraged other women to join the sector.

Women on Boards

This category is dedicated to women in Non-Executive and trustee roles on boards. The Award will provide much-needed visibility to women across industries in both private and public sectors. This award will recognise and celebrate women on boards to inspire the next generation of women aspiring to board roles

Joint Categories

These categories are open to both entrepreneurs and established career women

Inspiring Mentor of the Year

This award is for women who have a track record in mentoring and developing future leaders.

Education / Academic Leader of the Year

This award celebrates women working within academia or the education sector.

Social Impact of the Year

This award is open to any woman who is creating or delivering digital products, programmes, or services for positive social impact.

Public / Third Sector Leader of the Year

This award is for women who either run or who are employed to work or who volunteer a significant amount of their time working within public sector or charity organisations.

Special Awards

Business Woman of The Year

This award will be presented to the woman who scored most highly across the judging criteria and will be announced at the National Grand Final.

One to Watch

Ones to Watch is a special status awarded to an individual showing promise and potential for the future who the judges want to acknowledge.




10:30Registration and Networking 
11:20Call into the venue
11:30Host’s welcome including Phoenix Dance
11:40Keynote address – Joanna Jensen, Founder of Child’s Farm
11:55Panel discussion – How does neurodiversity affect Unstoppable Women? Catherine Asta, Psychotherapist Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, CEO of Dowsing & Reynolds
14:05Dessert and coffee
14:25Panel – How are the Next Generation preparing for being Unstoppable? Hannah Duraid, Managing Director, The Great Escape Game Georgia Henry, Head of Publishing & Tik Tok Expert, Rocket
14:50Business Woman of the Year 2021
15:05Winner announced – Business Woman of the Year 2022
15:15Closing remarks – Griselda Togobo, CEO, Forward Ladies
15:25Charity raffle prizes and photographs of winners
15:30Networking and post awards drinks The Canary Bar, The Dockside, Leeds, LS10 1EG

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