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Midlands girls need more business role models, says construction MD

Julie_WhiteA leading female figure in construction has urged women across all business sectors to put themselves forward for a major award. 

Julie White, the managing director of Coventry-based D-Drill which has offices across the UK, won the Businesswoman of the Year award in 2011 and saw her company’s profile go through the roof.

Nominations for this year’s event are now open with entries being accepted up to and including Monday, September 11.

Since winning, Julie has appeared on a range of TV and radio programmes – including Question Time and the One Show – as well as in a host of national print titles while her business has expanded and opened in London.

And she said the added profile of winning the award had helped to raise the issue of encouraging more young women to think about a career in business.

Julie said: “I had quite a strong profile in my own world of diamond drilling and concrete sawing but that is, to say the least, very niche.

“After winning the award, I became a spokeswoman for my industry but also for women in business generally.

“I think girls and young women need a cross section of role models and, in my view, not enough have come from industry and too many have come from the world of entertainment and celebrity.

“So I wanted to use my profile to really encourage women to look at the many careers there are in industry and to start their own business.

“I am a huge advocate of the Businesswoman of the Year awards and I would encourage female business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs to put themselves forward.

“It can have a genuinely positive impact on the profile of your business but, equally, it gives you an opportunity to show other women what can be achieved in business.”

Other previous winners include Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Hilary Devey CBE and the current title holder, Jacqui O’Donovan, who runs London-based O’Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd.

Judy Groves, director of the Businesswoman of the Year Award, said: “Since winning the title, Julie White has been a great ambassador for the awards and for the cause of women in business generally.

“She has used the award as great lever to promote the need for more women leaders in construction and the same goes for other sectors.

“I would, therefore, urge businesswomen to put themselves forward for an award in order to show young women and girls that there are female role models in industry to aspire to.”

New sponsors – HSBC, ‘Your Relaxing Music Mix’ station Smooth Radio and Britain’s biggest commercial news talk station LBC – join British Airways, Freeths, Pertemps, SCC and Birmingham City University in offering their support to the event which shines a light on inspirational businesswomen across the country.

The event is also supported by key industry organisations including the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), the Royal Aeronautical Society, the CBI and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. Funds this year will be raised for Tomorrow’s People and national disability charity Revitalise.

The closing date for entries is September 11 and will be followed by an interview stage for shortlisted candidates on September 22.

The winner will be announced at a luncheon and awards ceremony at Birmingham Hilton Metropole on Friday, October 6.

Anyone wanting to apply for the award or nominate an inspirational businesswoman should email Judy Groves via Sharon@rigbygroupplc.com

Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the prestigious 35th anniversary of the awards luncheon event should email event@womenoftheyearawards.org.uk

To engage on social media, use #WOTY2017, #makeithappen or #inspirationalwomen