“The highlight of my career” - how our winners feel about their Women’s Recognition Award

Posted 2023

Winning a Women’s Recognition Award is about more than just a trophy – and nobody is better placed to tell us exactly what it means that our winners themselves. We asked past winners of the awards what it meant to them – and we got some amazing answers, from phones being dropped in surprise to a true feeling of acknowledgement for career achievements...

Kate Hedges, A Conveyancing

When my name was called I wasn’t paying full attention as I just didn’t think for a second it would be me - I was in such shock and it made me feel extremely proud. I felt such a huge sense of achievement and still do!

Eloise Hall, Kensington Mortgages

When my name was called as the winner of the 2022 Woman in Specialist Lending award, I felt such a rush. I was hugely honoured to have been shortlisted along with some other phenomenal women in our industry, and to be recognised for my contribution was a truly joyful experience.

Rachel East, Key Group

I can remember the moment the award nominations were being called out and I was looking at my boss across the table, poised with my hands ready to clap for the winner... then when they announced my name. I was in complete shock! He jumped up screaming but I couldn't quite believe it and I was completely overwhelmed. It is such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by such talent (and being recognised, of course) but being in that environment just made it so much more rewarding.

Roz Cawood, Hope Capital

To be recognised by my peers was truly an honour and is definitely up there with one of my proudest moments. The response I have received since winning has been overwhelming and has shown me how important these awards are for recognising women in our industry.

Tracey Evans, Progeny

It was a highlight of my career to be awarded a Women's Recognition Award!

Andrew Montlake, Coreco

It really was such an honour for Coreco to be named as a winner for Equality Employer of the Year and made us all feel hugely proud. Equality and diversity is something that runs deep through our DNA and to be recognised as having a culture that enables and encourages strong female talent is important to us. It has enabled us to also put up other female talent and it is great to see the strides that the industry is making in this field.

Krystle Skelton, Cura Financial Services

I was over the moon when I found out I was shortlisted for the award and in complete shock when I found out I had won! It meant so much and made me feel like the time and effort I put in with my clients and trying to improve the underwriting in the industry was acknowledged.

Beth Jones, Hodge

I was delighted to find out I'd made the shortlist for the inaugural WRAs and was in shock - but absolutely thrilled - to be named a winner on the night. It really made me feel recognised and appreciated.

Emma Roberts, Connect for Intermediaries

From the moment I found out that I was a finalist to seeing my name on that big screen, I was over the moon. I’ve always known what I bring to the table and known my worth, but it’s a huge honour for that to be seen by the rest of the industry and not just the people that I work closely with. Being a finalist alone is such a big achievement, but to pick up the win on the night meant the world to me, my employers, and my family.

Lauren Fuller, NatWest

I was so shocked when I found out I'd won that I dropped my phone in panic to walk on stage. It's such an honour to say I am on a list of other incredible women in our industry but I wouldn't have been there without my amazing network of powerhouses - they encourage, support and empower me to bring the best of myself to work every single day. I wouldn't have been on that stage without them and dedicate my win to each and every one of them (they know who they are!).

Often there is a lot of negativity around women's only awards but when women still experience performance & attribution bias in the workplace; these awards offer us a level playing field when it comes to promotions and reviews.

Christine Newell, Paradigm Mortgage Services

I was quite humbled to find out I was shortlisted, particularly with the calibre of the women who were nominated and shortlisted. The awards were virtual (due to COVID) but seeing my name up in lights on the screen was incredible and I was really quite overwhelmed.

Cerys Williams, Sero

I couldn't believe it - I was genuinely shocked and overjoyed. The photographer managed to catch my beaming smile as I walked to the stage to collect my award. For once, I was actually lost for words!

Marie Catch, L&G Home Finance

I was so happy to be nominated, and then to be a finalist was more than I could have imagined. To then win was just amazing, especially knowing it was because I was nominated by my peers. I do my job without any expectation because I am passionate about it – so for that passion to be recognised was a truly humbling experience. I felt very proud. I would encourage anyone to put forward that person who they know deserves that recognition, it could make such a difference to their working life, from feeling appreciated to a boosting of confidence.

Ann-Marie Atkins, Evelyn Partners

Overwhelmed to be shortlisted – there was a little imposter syndrome and being nervous about failure! I felt proud upon winning to be formally seen alongside many fantastic women and not be afraid or apologise for my hard work and success. I encourage all my female allies in any team to take time to look at their achievements and shout about them – and there’s no better way than via an awards programme like this.

Answers have been edited for clarity and length.