Women Leaders
Awards 2019

Businesses come together to recognise and celebrate Women Leaders in Milton Keynes

Friday 11th October 2019 saw hundreds of leaders from businesses, charities and the MK community gather at the Hilton, MK Stadium for the Women Leaders Awards 2019. Celebrating the achievements and success of women living or working in Milton Keynes, the awards honoured 14 women for their contribution in their respective fields, both employed and volunteers.

The awards are the pinnacle event for Women Leaders UK as part of its purpose of promoting gender equality and diversity for public benefit. This year, the event saw Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK deliver an inspiring keynote speech encouraging us all to support young women to pursue careers in what have been male dominated industries. She commented “despite obvious challenges, I feel optimistic about the future and empowered to make a difference, and I hope I’ve managed to share some of that optimism with all of you this evening. As women leaders, we all have a responsibility to make it easier for the next generation to fulfil their full potential. just as we stood on the shoulders of our mothers and grandmothers, we all have the opportunity to do the same for our daughters and granddaughters”.

The winner of the Outstanding Contribution and Engineering, Science and Maths awards, Professor Jane Rickson said, “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be given these awards. I would like to recognise the amazing achievements of all the nominated and short-listed women. It was fantastic to hear how women leaders are making such a difference in so many different walks of life! In particular, I hope I can use these awards to encourage and even inspire other women (and girls!) to take up exciting and diverse careers in engineering, science and maths….and of course, become the Women Leaders of the future!”

The Winners of the Women Leaders Awards 2019 were:

Art, Culture and The Creative Industries

Rebecca Carrington, Arts 1


Jane Lambert, ECG Training

Community Impact, Employed

Vanessa Holmes, MK Hospital Charity

Leisure and Retail

Mica Whyte, Woughton House

Community Impact, Volunteer

Kurshida Mirza, MK Community Foundation

Manufacturing and Construction

Cheryl Brimson, Aero Tec Laboratories Ltd

Digital and Technology

Helen Wylde, Connected Places Catapult

Professional Services

Zoe Mills, NHBC

Public Services

Sally Alexander, Milton Keynes College 

Emerging Leader

Lakechia Jeanne, Girls in Science

Engineering, Science and Maths

Professor Jane Rickson


Kelly Haynes, Enigma Fitness


Susan Thirakornratch, One Earth Organics

Outstanding Contribution

Professor Jane Rickson

#None of the Above

Claire Harris, Pet 2 Places

Thank You To Our Judges

Francesca Skelton 

Peter Cox, Dentons

Kerry Reynolds, Metro Bank 

Ruby Parmar, TOTM

Shalom Lloyd, Naturally Tribal

Chinwe Osuchukwu, NHS

Jacqui Wilkins, Visual Identity

Julia Upton

Nikki Ross, Thames Valley Police

Keith McLean, MK Council

Yvonne Owuor, NHBC

Elizabeth Sheldon, Evidence Talks

James Howarth, Howes Percival

Lisa Robey, Handelsbank

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Keynote speech

Cindi Rose OBE - CEO, Microsoft UK

Cindy was appointed CEO of Microsoft UK in July 2016. She has responsibility for all of Microsoft’s enterprise product and service offerings across the UK, continuing the company’s transformation into the leading productivity and platform company for the mobile-first, cloud-first era.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Cindy was Managing Director of the UK Consumer division at Vodafone, leading their transformation from mobile pure play to quad play with the launch of Vodafone broadband and the development of Vodafone TV. She also led the expansion of Vodafone’s retail store estate from 350 stores to over 500 stores and returned the business to growth after 12 consecutive quarters of revenue decline.

Cindy is a graduate of Columbia University and New York Law School. Soon after graduation, she relocated to the UK, qualified as a UK Solicitor and practiced at Allen & Overy in London.

From there, she became General Counsel for The Walt Disney Company EMEA. Changing roles within Disney every few years, she worked her way up to Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Disney Interactive Media Group.

After 15 years at Disney, Cindy moved to Virgin Media as Executive Director of Digital Entertainment. She managed the development and commercial deployment of TiVo and Virgin Media TV Anywhere, before joining Vodafone in 2013.

In April 2019 Cindy joined the board of WPP as a Non-Executive Director and she also serves as a member of the Audit Committee. Cindy was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List 2019 where she was awarded an OBE for services to UK technology.


The event was a resounding success, congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to Cindy Rose, our trustees, judges, sponsors and all of our guests.

You have helped us to raise valuable funds to support and mentor young women in Milton Keynes to reach their full potential.

Check Out Our Previous Events

Women Leaders

2018 Event

Women Leaders

2017 Event