I meant to write this blog yesterday but unfortunately time got away with me.
Now, those of you who know me will recall me getting in a bit of a tizz about the whole 'women in IT' and female boardroom quotas l because I think it is quite patronising and sends out the wrong message.
But this event - Women of the Year - held in Birmingham's Hilton Metropole hotel, is a whole new ballgame and one that I'm proud to be associated with. It doesn't patronise women and make men feel marginalised - it just rewards excellence in business - where the founders and CEOs happen to be female.
Some of the companies shortlisted this year were truly remarkable and the winner Emma Elston, the founder of Container Maintenance Ltd, literally saves councils millions of pounds a year by repairing waste containers. The firm was started in her back bedroom and now employs over 80 people and enjoys a multi-million pound turnover.
Originally the event covered firms based in the Midlands and further North, but this year I noticed there were firms shortlisted from Exeter and Essex, so it has become a truly national event. I'm looking forward to seeing what firms enter in years to come.
We had a great speaker as well this year, Karen Millen, who told the audience how she started her international fashion empire with a few bits of material and a £100 loan.
To top it all, the event raises thousands of pounds for charity - with the three main charities this year being Vitalise, Alzheimer's Research UK and Marie Curie. Three great, and very deserving charities.
The award of the day for me though was the Achievement Award. Given to someone each year who has overcome great adversity to achieve the remarkable, this year it went to Martine Wright, who lost both her legs in the 7/7 London bombing attack.
Rather than see her life as being over which many people would have done, she decided to fight back, and this year represented the UK at the London Paralympics in the Women's sitting Volleyball team.
Her story was moving and inspirational and her acceptance speech, where she said: "I didn't really do that much, just sat on my arse for a few years," was fantastic.
"You can either go on feeling sorry for yourself, or you can get out there and make something of yourself and do something with your life," she said. A truly deserving recipient.
Well done to all of those involved for another great event and I'm looking forward to next year already.
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