By Emma Shacklock published
With the world facing difficult times in recent months, it’s never been more apt for Women of the Year to celebrate amazing women who have made outstanding contributions.
This year things may have been a little different, with the event being hosted online. But the spirit and significance remained as the event championed women from all walks of life. Each guest is nominated by a member of the Women of the Year Council.
The nominations are made in recognition of each woman’s personal achievements or inspiration. Together they attend the gathering as an inspirational ‘Woman of the Year’.
Who won Women of the Year 2020 awards?
Of the many 2020 Women of the Year nominees, five of these truly extraordinary women received Women of the Year Awards for their selfless dedication to their fields of work.
The Women of the Year Community Spirit Award
Adwoa Dickson was presented with this inspirational award by Lorraine Kelly, for her work with Amies Freedom Choir. The unique choir aims to develop the musical and cultural awareness of young women who have survived trafficking. It helps them to explore songs and musical styles from each others' cultures and languages.
Vodafone’s Woman of the Year Innovation Award
Poppy Gustafsson received this award from last year’s winner, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE. As the Chief Executive and Co-Founder of cyber-security firm Darktrace, Poppy has helped provide governments and companies with the tools they need to protect themselves. The pandemic raised the threat of cyber attacks to critical levels as homeworkers found themselves being targeted by ever more elaborate scams. With hackers preying on loneliness, Darktrace has helped secure our nation’s cyber security in this critical time.
The Barclays Woman in the Community Award
Actor Georgina Campbell presented Founder and CEO of My Sisters’ House Julie Budge with this wonderful award. Embedded within the Bognor Regis community, women’s support centre My Sisters’ House also works across the coastal area of West Sussex, helping provide sanctuary for domestic abuse survivors. With lockdown seeing a rise in domestic violence cases, the support organisations like My Sisters’ House provide has never been more vital.
The Boots Wellness Warrior Award
Burns Survivor Sylvia Mac accepted this outstanding award from actor Tamzin Outhwaite. After being burned and scarred down her back after falling into a bowl of boiling water as a child, Sylvia now campaigns actively to challenge the fashion industry, media and society. Through her ‘Love Disfigure’ work, she advocates for representation and acceptance of people who look “different”.
Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award 2020
This special award went to British musical legend Joan Armatrading CBE. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for the Best Female Artist BRIT Award. In a recording career spanning nearly 50 years, Armatrading has released 19 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.
How did they celebrate the ‘Woman of the Year’ 2020 awards?
This year’s celebration was dedicated to the NHS workers and other women working to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic who helped carry the country through these challenging months.
The women were joined by a large number of key workers who took time out of their vital schedules for an Afternoon Tea at home to tune into the virtual proceedings.
The event was hosted by celebrated actor, comedian and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc. And the esteemed company was also given a message from actor Dame Julie Walters.
It’s only Julie Walters!! Julie is giving a little hint of what is to come TOMORROW for our Women of The Year Awards! As we can’t celebrate as usual we are holding a Virtual Tea to celebrate our 400 Women of The Year. Each of these brilliant women will be receiving a tea box full of goodies to enjoy! AND for the first time the awards presentation will be streamed on our website - link in bio - Tuesday 10 November 4pm GMT. Join us! #womenoftheyear #wotytea #juliewalters Women of the Year
A photo posted by @womenofyear on Nov 9, 2020 at 12:16am PST
In this special message, Julie celebrated the achievement of her friend Julie Budge, stating, “She is an absolute powerhouse of a woman” and adding that she was “massively proud to be patron of her charity”.
She went on to welcome the NHS staff who had joined the event and thanked them for everything they've done for our country.
The acclaimed actor also declared, “Big congratulations to all of you women and all of the fantastic things that you’ve achieved.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.
Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.
In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com.
After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!
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