Over 150 women and men from across the region attended the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business event to celebrate International Women’s Day, whilst at the same time raising £471 in memory of the Molly Hurst Fund.

The event sponsored by Berneslai Homes, HVAC Communications, MED-EL, Picture Perfect Photography, Rotherham Together Partnership and Zeun Digital, highlighted the achievements, challenges and role of women with the special recognition ATHENA International Awards, kindly sponsored by Howells Solicitors LLP.

The ATHENA International scr awards recognised Lyndsay Pitchley with the ATHENA International Leadership Award, she has empowered women and tackled discrimination in Rotherham during her time in office as Mayor, where she also raised the most funds ever for local charities. Grimm & Co of Rotherham received the Organisational Leadership Award, for their recruitment and employment practices that support and encourage diversity. The Young Professional Leadership Award was received by 20-year-old Aimee Browes, who has set up the Happiness Bootcamp C.I.C. and uses fitness classes to educate on mental health and wellbeing.

Speakers included BBC Radio Sheffield’s winner of the “This is Me” competition Sile Sibanda, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Young Entrepreneur and Founder of Pura Cosmetics Rose Dyson, CEO of Agility Health Tech Dr Claire Thompson and Founder of To the Moon and Back Foster Care Angela Hunt.

Amongst the speakers, Host Jo Davison and Chair of the Women in Business Group Jackie Freeborn held topical ‘Sofa Chats’ for ‘The Importance of a Partnership’ and ‘The Benefits and Challenges of Diversity’. These included Totally Runable’s Director Natalie Jackson, Harris & Co’s Associate Partner Nichola Hawden and Partner Paul Hincliffe, HR Director of Liberty Speciality Steels Mick Hood and Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber’s Chief Executive Andrew Denniff and President Lisa Pogson.

Jackie Freeborn, Chair of Women in Business commented:

“As Chair of Women in Business I am exceptionally proud that for the 4th year in succession we joined millions of others world-wide on International Women’s Day to celebrate the contribution women make to the economy, communities and to our lives.

“I am equally proud that we are the only region in the whole of the UK affiliated with ATHENA International. Congratulations to all 21 honourees, highly commended and recipients. My thanks to sponsors, speakers, judges and everyone who gave their time and support. The stories told by our speakers were incredibly inspiring and uplifting as was the energy, buzz and celebratory feel from the 150 people who joined us.”

#BalanceforBetter is the official International Women’s Day 2019 world-wide campaign, running all year long, to build a gender-balanced world. The campaign is encouraging women and men to strike the #BalanceforBetter pose to support the movement.

Molly Hurst Fund is in conjunction with South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, supporting young people’s mental health & wellbeing. The fund was set up by the Hurst family after the loss of their daughter Molly in 2017.

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