Winners announced at the Women Ahead and 30% Club Cross-Company Mentoring Awards

Women Ahead and the 30% Club have this week announced the winners of the 2018 #InspiredByMentoring Awards. The winners were selected from this year’s Cross-Company Mentoring Programme, run by Women Ahead, and celebrate the mentees, mentors, individuals and companies which have made the greatest impact over the past twelve months through their dedication to the mentoring process.

The mentoring scheme offers cross-company, cross-sector mentoring to women at every layer of the career pyramid. Now in its sixth year in the UK, it is part of a series of 30% Club initiatives aimed at helping to develop a broader pipeline of women and ‘balance the pyramid’ at all levels. 

Also introduced this year were the Dame Helen Alexander Awards – two new awards for mentees and mentors which were set up by the 30% Club in honour of Dame Helen who passed away in 2017. As a significant force for gender diversity within UK business, Dame Helen was instrumental in establishing and driving the UK Government’s initiative to improve female representation at senior and Board level.

Amongst the judging panel for the Dame Helen Alexander Awards was Tim Suter, Dame Helen’s husband, who commented:

“Helen loved making big organisations work from the inside and she was an avid supporter of mentoring to support employees on their journey towards senior positions. These awards embody what Helen did and what she believed in. To have her legacy honoured in this way is very special.”

Dame Helen’s children also attended the awards ceremony, held on Thursday 14 June at UBM, to present the awards to the winners.                                                                         

Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM plc, the leading global events organiser which was chaired by Dame Helen Alexander for five years, and which supported the Dame Helen Alexander awards, commented:

“The Dame Helen Alexander Awards are a fitting tribute to the work Dame Helen did throughout her career to advocate greater gender diversity both on Boards and in business more generally. She made a significant impact at UBM and was, in particular, an inspirational role model for many women in the company.  I have many stories from the team here about how she influenced and inspired those with whom she worked. We wanted to support these awards to show our appreciation and gratitude for her leadership in the promotion of greater gender diversity in business.”

The Women Ahead and 30% Club Cross-Company Mentoring Programme, established in 2014, aims to develop the diversity and inclusion of organisations and the pipeline and parity of women at all levels of the career pyramid. It pairs female mentees from all levels with male and female mentors who offer more than 15 years' experience in their career.

This year it attracted 1,540 mentors and mentees, with participating organisations including Deloitte, BT, British Army, Marks & Spencer, Aviva, PwC, London Stock Exchange Group and BNY Mellon.

The awards categories included Most Committed Mentee of the Year; Most Inspirational Mentor of the Year; Most Dedicated Programme Partner of the Year; and Most Dynamic Mentoring Organisation of the Year.

Liz Dimmock, CEO and Founder of Women Ahead, said of the #InspiredByMentoring awards:
“We’ve had so many excellent nominations this year as people have taken the time to give credit back to those who have made the mentoring journey such a life-changing experience. We congratulate all of our winners and highly commended individuals on their fantastic achievements. Every year, the awards grow as more organisations recognise the benefits of mentoring to their employees and seek to get involved. It is testament to their participation that the quality of nominees this year was so high.” 

A recent poll by Women Ahead revealed that participants of the Cross-Company Mentoring scheme reported the programme as creating tangible positive change for mentees and mentors, including career advancement, increased confidence, expanded networks and personal skills development.

Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club, commented:
“These awards are when mentors, mentees, Programme Partners and organisations are recognised for their part in the largest cross-company mentoring programme in the UK. Mentoring is a tried and tested approach to helping people realise their potential. With the help of good mentoring, along with a supportive work environment, employees can progress more easily and swiftly through the executive pipeline towards senior management and executive positions.”

The winners announced for the #InspiredByMentoring Awards and the Dame Helen Alexander Awards were as follows:


Dame Helen Alexander Awards

Dame Helen Alexander Award for the Most Promising Mentee
Winner: Lieutenant Colonel Jules Parke-Robinson, British Army
Highly Commended: Arelette Priestley, GSK

Dame Helen Alexander Award for the Greatest Commitment to Mentoring
Winner: Lynne Chambers, London Stock Exchange Group
Highly Commended: Rosaleen Blair, Alexander Mann Solutions


#InspiredByMentoring Awards

Most Committed Mentee of the Year:
Winner: Farahnaz Dowlet, Westpac
Highly Commended: Sarah Baker, LSEG

Most inspirational Mentor of the Year
Winner: Lance Brodie, Close Brothers
Highly Commended:
Julian Baddeley, Aviva
Stephen Lewis, RSA Group

Most dedicated Programme Partner of the Year:
Winner: Julia Roording, Investec
Highly commended: 
Eerika Hedman-Philips, Belron
Jennifer Peters, Mizuho

Most Dynamic Mentoring Organisation of the Year:
Winner: Pearson
Highly commended:

The judging panel for the Cross-Company Mentoring and Dame Helen Alexander awards consisted of Tim Suter, Dame Helen’s husband, Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of the 30% Club, Katushka Giltsoff, 30% Club Ambassador, Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM and Liz Dimmock, CEO and Founder of Women Ahead.


For more information, please contact:
Georgie Whittle: (+44) 07835 770967
Gay Collins: (+44) 07798 626282  

Notes to Editors 
The 30% Club was founded in the UK in 2010 and is a global effort with chapters in ten countries around the world. Led by Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair, the 30% Club collaborates with businesses, governments and other campaigns to improve gender diversity and accelerate the pace of change. Campaign targets include a minimum 30% women at senior management level of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.

Women Ahead and Moving Ahead is a purpose-led, specialist development and diversity organisation. We believe in the power of mentoring programmes, masterclasses, and research to create positive change. The ‘why’ is simple - diversity of thought, experience, and teams leads to increased creativity, innovation, retention and better business performance. Moving Ahead works not just around the world but also across the spectrum of diversity, for more than 160 organisations including BT, Cisco, Google, Warner Music, Deloitte and Ricoh. We have supported nearly 10,000 mentors and mentees. Contact Timma Marett at for more information.

The 30% Club and Women Ahead Cross-Company Mentoring Programme was founded by Dame Helena Morrissey in 2014 and has grown year-on-year from 8 to 86 participating companies and 1,540 mentors and mentees. The programme, which Women Ahead manages for the 30% Club, aims to develop the diversity and inclusion of organisations, and the pipeline and parity of women at all levels of the career pyramid. The ultimate aim is to attract, develop and retain women into board roles.

UBM plc is the largest pure-play B2B Events organiser in the world.  In an increasingly digital world, the value of connecting on a meaningful, human level has never been more important.  At UBM, our deep knowledge and passion for the industry sectors we serve allow us to create valuable experiences where people can succeed. At our events people build relationships, close deals and grow their businesses.  Our 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors – from fashion to pharmaceutical ingredients.  These global networks, skilled, passionate people and market-leading events provide exciting opportunities for business people to achieve their ambitions.  

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