Prue Leith, one of the industry¹s foremost female entrepreneurs, was presented with the Robyn Jones Lifetime Achievement award at the 2016 Shine Awards tonight.
Leith, whose career has encompassed roles as a restaurateur, caterer, journalist, cookery writer, novelist, cookery school founder and TV star, was described as a "beacon for female operators the world over, who has inspired many women in hospitality to follow her lead".
The Shine Awards, held at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, celebrate the achievements of women working in hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism, and the individuals and businesses that actively support gender diversity.
The awards are run by People 1st in partnership with The Caterer and are now in their 11th year. They are a central platform to the Women 1st campaign, created by People 1st, which aims to help increase the number of women in senior leadership roles across the visitor economy.
Leith's daughter, Li-Da Kruger, collected the award on her behalf, and Leith also sent a video message to the audience.
The Great British Menu judge joined seven other award recipients who were recognised for their outstanding careers.
This year's Catey Manager of the Year, Chantelle Nicholson, was named Woman of the Year. Described as the "lynchpin" within Marcus Wareing Restaurants, she is not only director of operations but also chef-patron of the 2015 AA Restaurant of the Year for London, Tredwell¹s, in Covent Garden. More than 50% of her brigade are female chefs.
Corbin & King chief operating officer Zuleika Fennell was named Ambassador of the Year. Fennell, who is charged with executing the strategy of her visionary bosses, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, was praised for working hard to overcome the barriers to progression for women within her organisation as well as the wider industry.
The 2016 Shine Awards winners
Rising Star Irene Forte, Rocco Forte Hotels
Highly commended Daniela Iannelli, Hilton Worldwide
Innovator of the Year Maria Bobrowska, TUI Group
Ambassador of the Year Zuleika Fennell, Corbin & King
Best Initiative to Retain and Develop Women Project Amazon, Premier Inn (New Openings)
Mentor of the Year Gareth Billington, Everton Football Club (Sodexo)
Highly commended Gordon Mutton, Merlin Entertainments
Best Place for Women to Work
Unilever Food Solutions
Woman of the Year
Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants
Robyn Jones Lifetime Achievement Award Prue Leith
About Women 1st
The Women 1st campaign was established by People 1st in 2009 and aims to transform the face of boards in the tourism and visitor economy sector and support women who aspire to senior leadership roles in fulfilling their career ambitions.
It seeks to elevate female leaders by challenging the industry to reach a greater level of gender balance across senior roles, and work with organisations to create an environment to harness female talent, sharing policy and ideas through best practice, in female-focused succession planning, women returners and the development of the female talent pipeline.
The campaign has also helped more than 1,200 women achieve their career ambitions through training and mentoring programmes, including the Step Up leadership programme and the Women 1st Mentoring Programme.
The Shine Awards have been run under the Women 1st banner since 2011.