Northern Power Women Awards Winners Special: How to Use the PoWEr of Your Platform

After partying the night away at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on the 21st of March, some of our 2022 winners and commended at the Northern Power Women Awards later joined Simone Roche MBE on the NPW podcast for a special edition awards episode. Together they reflected on what winning an award means to them, and discussed how they plan to use their platform for good.

This was the first in person awards ceremony in nearly 3 years, and the atmosphere of the evening reflected the eagerness of the Northern Power Women community to reconnect and show their support. Winner of the first ever Disruptor for Good Award (created in memory of the Late Professor Jane Turner OBE DL) Nazir Afzal OBE commented on this atmosphere:

“The energy in that room would power a nuclear power plant”, he said. Agent of Change Winner Laura Wood also spoke of the power in the room on the night, saying “I felt so inspired being in that room. There were so many people that made me want to do more”. Similarly, Maggie Chen, representing, Innovation Award commended Girls in Charge, commented on how the Northern Power Women Awards were unlike anything she’s ever attended before:

“I’ve been to other ceremonies and events, and at no event did I feel like I did at the Northern Power Women awards, it was just such a lovely energetic room of people”.

The power of the regional networks in the room was noted by Crystal Hicks, Chair of Women In Social Housing, winners of the Innovation Award. She said, “it was wonderful to have the North East contingent there, the power of the network in the North East is just electric”.

In true Northern Power Women style, many of the winners and commended used the platform to thank the teams and support networks that had contributed towards winning these awards. Liz Ashall Payne, winner of Outstanding Entrepreneur attributed her win to the team around her:

“This is an honour. And it’s not just about me, this is about the whole team. I do feel blessed and proud for the people that surround me”.

Sharon Davies, Founder of Young Enterprise and commended in the Transformational Leader category also shared her excitement of using this platform to highlight the work done by her team, but also the team itself.

“It’s been fantastic to showcase the work of Young Enterprise” she said, “I’m incredibly proud of the team, it’s a team effort and the ongoing transformation. Financial education is critical right now, and what you’ve given us is the platform to keep building that momentum”.

The overwhelming impact of the Northern Power Women Awards is how this stamp of approval has renewed their vigour to keep on going and paying it forward. Mentor of the Year Winner Ali McGrath is looking forward to using her platform at a #NPWAward winner to continue sharing her experiences with mentees and young people.

Alison Madgin, Winner of the Person with Purpose Award, was another such person impacted by the honour saying how “the award has given me more strength to carry on and get the message out there”. This renewed strength was also demonstrated by Steph Edusei, winner of the Transformational Leader Award, who said:

“I feel really empowered, that idea of going on and doing more. And maybe not so great for the people that I challenge, I feel really emboldened as well. It’s like I’ve got a big stamp of approval here”.

Dianne Richardson, Commended as Agent of Change, took a moment to reflect both on how the awards mark how far we’ve come, whilst also acknowledging how far we have yet to go on the road to gender equality. “My nana passed very recently and actually I was reflecting on the fact that she was a strong and wonderful woman, but never had the opportunity to become powerful because of the way society worked for her […] We’ve got to fight, we’ve got to change it, and this for me is another thing that pushes you on that journey”.

Find the full winners and commended podcast episode here.

If you want to find out more about the winners of the Northern Power Women Awards 2022, take a look at our winners page on our website.