The city of Sheffield is bustling with incredible women of all ages, backgrounds and race.
Taking a walk through the city centre you’ll walk past many of these women, all with powerful individual stories that are often left behind closed doors.
Sheffield Newspapers decided to uncover these amazing women, their struggles and their triumphs in a special event to mark International Women’s Day.
The Women of Sheffield awards brought together more than 100 females to commend their achievements across 12 special awards.
Women were celebrated for their engineering prowess, charitable efforts, scientific contributions, strong grit, political advances, health trailblazing and relentless teaching.
Awards were also given out for entrepreneurship success, entertainment skill, talent for creativity, sporting dedication and community commitment.
Every award was named after a wonderful woman of Sheffield, either past or present.
The Pam Liversidge Award for Engineering went to three incredible women – Thermotex managing director Chloe Watmore, Chancellors Medal winner Saheela Mohammed and project whizz Dani Strickland.
Pam praised all three winners. She said: “Encouraging women into engineering has been close to my heart for the last 40 years.
“This event is an important step in recognising the quality and talent of women in the engineering sector of our region.”
The Barbara Wragg Award for Charity was awarded to Deborah Cundy, Andrea Blackett and Jacquie Neilson.
Barbara sadly passed away last May. Her daughter Amanda said: “Philanthropist best describes my mum, no charity was too small, from a sponsorship form to paying for war veterans to visit an old battle ground.
“Her best legacy would be to encourage such kindness and generosity in others to get pleasure from giving rather than taking.”
Deborah has helped raise over £163,000 for Weston Park and cycle group Endeavour.
Andrea has raised £12,000 to support Sheffield’s cystic fibrosis unit and Jacquie set up Rain Rescue Charity which saves more than 500 animals every year.
The Helen Sharman Award for Science was given to the first female Professor of Emergency Medicine in the UK, Suzanne Mason. Other winners were science university students Sophie and Lucy Pearce and social care researcher Deborah Harrop.
Award sponsor Gradconsult said: “As ardent supporters of these awards since inception, we welcome the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible contribution of female scientists in our city and their many notable contributions to the global scientific community.”
The Kathleen Roberts Award for Grit was given to founding member of the Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association Cecilia Jackson-Chambers. Others to receive the award were Kerry Needham, for showing immense grit since the loss of her son Ben, and Brenda Booth for overcoming countless bouts of illness.
Kathleen Roberts is the last surviving campaigning Woman of Steel.
Friend Jill Thomas said: “The Women of Steel’s courage leadership and true grit is, and should remain, a guiding light to all of us;-highlighting the importance of never giving up, even when everything appears to be conspiring against us.”
The Winifred Gales Award for Politics was awarded to longest serving female Sheffield councillor Pat Midgley, first female Apex chair June Griffiths and event mastermind Sara Hill.
All three were described as a rock to the people around them, modest about their work and truly remarkable.
The Dr Helen Mary Wilson Award for Health was won by MBE recipient Gina Higginbottom, first female Professor of Gastroenterology Reena Sidhu and Light Sheffield Trustee Jan Cubison.
Sponsor Westfield Health said: “The sheer number of exceptional candidates for this award further demonstrate the impact the Women of Sheffield have in helping to develop Sheffield as a gloabal thought leader.”
Sheffield Children’s University project manager Katie Hamshaw, English teacher Elizabeth Raynor and teaching assistant Jayne Biggs won the Mary Anne Rawson Award for Education.
Nina Gunson, from Sheffield High School for Girls, said: “These female trailblazers have broken glass ceilings, worked hard to remove barriers for other women, fought through incredibly tough times and are disrupting established industry norms through innovation.”
The Elizabeth Parkin Award Entrepreneurship went to the founder of The Female Success Hub Emily Wilkinson, owner of Italia Uno Kimberley Rose and Believe and Achieve gym owner Claire Moore.
Sponsor MK Public Relations said: “It has been humbling to read the many, many entries- and without exception every single one of them is deserving.”
The Marti Caine Award for Entertainment was won by singer and Stars of the Future founder Stephanie King, professional entertainer Lorraine Birtles and award winning playwright Chris Bush.
These three wonderful women bring smiles to other people’s faces on a daily basis through singing, dancing or drama.
Violet Studios founder Hollie Davis, Hive founder Vicky Morris social entrepreneur Justine Gaubert won the Sarah Nulty award for creativity.
The women share the same infectious enthusiasm, and passion as Sarah did as the founder and director of Tramlines music festival.
Sheffield FC general manager Helen Mitchell, Manchester City player Ellie Roebuck and Muay Thai expert Trix March-Mullany won the Jessica Ennis-Hill award for sport.
Sponsor Vine Hotels said: “The standard of the entries in this category showcases the great work that is being carried out in the area to ensure that the wider community can benefit in taking part in sport, and enjoying the rewards that it brings.”
The Dorrett Buckley-Greaves Award for Community was presented to food bank champion Maureen Greaves, church pioneer Theresa Nuttall and Sparkle Sheffield founder Kiesje Dusauzay.
Deputy leader of Sheffield Council Olivia Blake summed up the awards.
She said: “Many of these stories would have gone unheard if it wasn’t for these awards and we hope that by shining a light on such fantastic work, even more people will be inspired to give back to the communities they live in.”