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Inspirational Rotherham women in line for international award

posted 21 Mar 2012, 04:22 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Mar 2012, 04:22 ]
Thirteen inspirational Rotherham women recognised for their leadership roles in business, the community and public services have been nominated for a prestigious award as part of a global programme.

The women - who are all acknowledged as making a significant contribution in some way to the quality of life in Rotherham - have been put forward for the Athena Award 2012, and the winner (or recipient) will be announced on Friday (March 23).

Rotherham is the only place in the UK to be affiliated to the Athena International Programme, the main aim of which is to secure a balance in leadership worldwide by "acknowledging and honouring those quiet leaders, mostly women, whose efforts are adding immensely to the fabric of their communities, while they remain unacknowledged and not visible as leaders."

The licence for the Rotherham Athena Award 2012 is held by Rotherham Borough Council, on behalf of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), which brings together representatives from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to address local issues and improve life for local residents.
Sponsorship for the awards has been provided by the LSP and partner organisations including the Council, NHS Rotherham and the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

Commercial sponsors include Willmott Dixon, one of Rotherham Borough Council's housing maintenance partners, and local publishing company, Garnett Dickinson.

The judging panel comprised Coun. Rose McNeely, former Mayor of Rotherham; Janet Wheatley, Chair of Voluntary Action Rotherham; Joanna Saunders of NHS Rotherham and lawyer Alison Fernandes of Rotherham's Women in Business network.

This year's award ceremony will be hosted by the 2011 Athena Recipient, Jackie Freeborn, Chief Executive of Business and Education South Yorkshire.

This year's Recipient - who won't learn of her success until the official announcement - will follow in the footsteps of other high profile Rotherham women recognised by Athena. These include Janet Lister, managing director of a precision engineering company and a former member of the Athena International Board; Gillian Banks, founder of her own theatre school in Maltby; Sue Pearce, Premier Manager with HSBC; Carol Bowser of Winthrop Park, and children's author Victoria Bown-Copley.

Coun. Roger Stone, Leader of Rotherham Borough Council, said: "Athena is not about saying women leaders are more important than men, or that women should be given an unfair advantage, but it is about creating balance.

"Strong leadership can take many forms, and as well as recognising women who have already achieved in their own right, Athena is a great way of inspiring others who perhaps are lacking in confidence or perceive the opportunities do not currently exist for them.

"The list of honourees demonstrates very clearly that those opportunities do exist in Rotherham, and we must support and encourage our women leaders to make the most of them."

Source: RMBC