Two Wirral women have been named winners at the 2022 Merseyside Women of the Year awards 2022.
Karina Molby won the Entrepreneur award, sponsored by IOD Liverpool, for her inclusive fashion label ‘Molby the Label’, while Access2Funding CEO, Dawn Coker, took the Women Making A Difference award, sponsored by Harrogate International Advisory, for working to change the culture of the finance sector, seeking gender equality, female talent retention and sharing her personal menopause journey to raise awareness.
Wirral finalist Amanda O’Keefe, a Beauty Therapist and Charity Fundraiser, was named runner-up in the Women of Courage category, while Rachel Daley, Founder of Positivitree was named runner-up in the Women Making A Difference category.
Jubeda Khatun, artistic director of grassroots combined arts festival, Blackfest, was named overall Merseyside Woman of the Year 2022, with the accolade being presented by headline sponsor, Hill Dickinson, at the glittering ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool on Friday 1st July.
Blackfest was established in 2018 to answer a crucial need in Liverpool to celebrate black artists and bridge the gap between institutions and marginalised communities, and aimed to empower and platform local Black artists across both community spaces and established venues.
Speaking of her win, Jubeda said, “It’s so amazing to be named Merseyside Women of the Year. I am really happy to get this recognition, this is not just for me but it’s for all the Muslim women and women of colour who dream of being leaders, who dream of leading organisations and making a positive impact in society at the same time.
“I hope that seeing me, here, winning this award will inspire more women who look like me to believe that they can do the same. I want to thank everyone who nominated me, the MWOTY organisers and sponsors and all the incredible finalists. Women are amazing and together we can make change.”
MWOTY 2022, which was hosted by Liverpool comedienne, singer and actor, Pauline Daniels, enjoyed a triumphant return for its first in-person awards ceremony since 2019, celebrating a host of courageous and inspirational women making a difference in Merseyside.
At the event, Woman of the Year Jubeda was also named the winner of the Arts & Culture category, presented by Lady Anne Dodd, for her work with Blackfest.
Arts & Culture Runner-Up: Ithalia Forel.
The Business Leader award, sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation, was awarded to Jennifer Greenan, for her work as Co-founder and Director of E-Verve Energy Ltd, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of electric-vehicle charging-infrastructure, and as founder and trustee of the Electric Futures Charity Trust, which aims to raise awareness of issues our planet faces today with tomorrow’s generation.
Business Leader Runner-Up: Natalie Kenny
The Social Impact award, sponsored by Everton FC, was won by Natalie Denny, for her work raising awareness and helping some of the most vulnerable people in the community through her involvement in organisations and projects including Skywriters Ltd, The Goddess Projects, Scouse Solidarity Sisters, Anthony Walker Foundation and The Period Project Merseyside.
Social Impact Runner-Up: Collette Goulding
The Entrepreneur award, sponsored by IOD Liverpool, went to Karina Molby, for her inclusive fashion label ‘Molby the Label’, which aims to cater for all customers and make them feel beautiful and empowered. As well as rapidly growing her business, Karina also remains active in her community, undertaking charity work and making positive change wherever she can.
Entrepreneur Runner-Up: Rebecca Taylor
The Inspirational Women award, sponsored by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, was won by Debbie Rogers, founder of men’s mental health charity, Sean’s Place, which she established in remembrance of her brother Sean who tragically took his own life. The charity provides free and immediate access to 1 to 1 and group support for men who are struggling and has saved the lives of many.
Inspirational Women Runner-Up: Deborah Stephens
Olivia Hanlon was named winner of the Women’s Group category, sponsored by Equality And Employment Law Centre, for her community platform, Girls in Marketing. The group was established in 2019 to educate and empower aspiring and professional marketers by encouraging a collaborative community spirit and has quickly grown to over 80 thousand followers across social media.
Women’s Group Runner-Up: Ashton Tansey
The Women of Courage award, sponsored by Courage & Sparkle Foundation, went to Savera UK CEO and founder, Afrah Qassim. A former winner of the ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ category at the 2012 MWOTY awards, Afrah has continued to drive the charity’s work tackling harmful practices such as forced marriage, ‘honour’ based-abuse and FGM. Over the past 10 years the charity has extended its original services to also include one-to-one services for survivors and those at risk in Merseyside and Cheshire and a national helpline allowing people across the UK to access support.
Women of Courage Runner-Up: Amanda O’Keefe
The Community Change award, sponsored by Neo Community and ADDvanced Solutions, was awarded to Barbara Rouse – better known as the “Duchess of Bootle” -for her tireless work over 45 years, helping to bring change to the community she loves through her volunteer work as CEO of Bootle YMCA, Chair of Derby Park and Director of SAFE Community Homes CIC.
Community Change Runner-Up: Lynsay Armbruster
The Women Making A Difference award, sponsored by Harrogate International Advisory, was won by Dawn Coker, CEO of Access2Funding. Dawn strives to transform the culture of the finance sector, seeking gender equality, aiming to ensure female talent retention and sharing her personal menopause journey to raise awareness regionally and nationally.
Women Making A Difference Runner-Up: Rachel Daley
A special lifetime achievement award was also presented by Hill Dickinson to Maggie O’Carroll, Co-founder and CEO of The Women’s Organisation, which over the last 25 years has supported more than 70,000 women in the North West to assess their skills, test the viability of an idea, grow in confidence and become economically empowered.
Fiona Parry, Partner a headline sponsor, Hill Dickinson, said, “We feel privileged to be part of an event that celebrates the remarkable work of women across our region and we extend our congratulations to all of today’s finalists. We are particularly honoured to announce Jubeda Khatun as the winner of the coveted top prize, a woman who is making a real difference to the arts and culture sector by breaking down barriers and inspiring others along the way.
“It is also our pleasure to have presented Maggie O’Carroll with the prestigious lifetime award; Maggie is passionate about empowering women in business, and this is something that really resonates with us at Hill Dickinson. We are excited to see what positive change these two worthy winners continue to create going forward.”
MWOTY Founding Director, Ellie Kerr, added, “It’s been absolutely glorious to be back and celebrating the amazing women in our region – the emotion and excitement in the room was just incredible! I would like to congratulate our Woman of the Year 2022, Jubeda, not just on her win at the awards, but for all the work she has done since establishing Blackfest in 2018.
“I would also like to congratulate all of our category winners and finalists – each and every one of them epitomises the spirit of MWOTY and make our home region the incredibly special place that it is. We welcome them into the MWOTY family and look forward to supporting their future ventures.”
Renowned for putting a spotlight on those women who do not seek the limelight or push themselves to the front, but instead work to make a difference to the people, sectors and communities they serve, the awards become a much-anticipated feature in the city’s social calendar, since their establishment in 2010. They will return again in 2023, on Friday 30th June.
To find out more or nominate for the 2023 awards, visit: https://merseysidewomenoftheyear.co.uk
Image: Karina Molby and Dawn Coker