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Inspiring women at the 69th Women of the Year Lunch

By Roz Morris, Managing Director TV News London

As a member of the Women of the Year Lunch Nominating Council, I was delighted to join 450 women at the 2023 Women of the Year Lunch and Awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Monday, October 16th.

Now in its 69th year, the inspiring annual event dates back to 1954 and champions women of achievement from all walks of life. The Women of the Year Lunch President, Baroness Tanni Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Chair, Lady Lousie Vaughan, welcomed every woman attending as a ‘Woman of the Year’ and made 7 awards to women of outstanding achievement.

Roz Morris with Mel Giedroyc and Lady Louise Vaughan at the 2023 Women of the year awards

The event was hosted by comedian and TV star, Mel Giedroyc, seen above with me and Lady Louise Vaughan. Awards presenters included celebrities Emma Bunton, Clara Amfo, Felicity Jones, Rachel Riley, Susanna Reid, and Lorraine Kelly CBE.

Guests included Denise Lewis DBE, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Anita Rani, Tamzin Outhwaite, Arlene Phillips, Emma Barnett, Anneka Rice, Kathy Lette, Baroness Hale, the first female Justice of the Supreme Court in the UK and Penny Mordaunt MP, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons.

Women of the Year paid tribute to some of the incredible achievements of women in 2023, including in women’s sport, the continuously astounding workers within the NHS in its 75th year, and the women who played an integral role in the King’s Coronation.

Seven outstanding women were honoured with Women of the Year Awards for their selfless dedication to their fields of work.

Special honours went to:

  • Baroness Hale, DBE,PC, RBA, the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court in the UK, Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Merope Mills, the patient safety campaigner whose work following her daughter’s death from sepsis has resulted in the government committing to implement Martha’s Rule across the NHS to reduce preventable deaths, Campaigner of the Year Award
  • Raksha Pattni, Chair of the educational charity SHINE committed to improving social mobility for disadvantaged children in the North of England, BP Community Champion Award
  • Professor Bola Owolabi, a GP and Director of the NHS Health Inequalities and Improvement Team who works to reduce disparities in access and outcomes from the NHS, the Gilead and Kite Campaigner for Health Equity Award
  • Samantha Payne MBE, co-founder of Open Bionics which creates revolutionary low-cost bionic hands received the Linklaters Founder of the Year Award
  • Dr Alicja Dzieciol, co-founder of SilviBio which mitigates the climate crisis through products designed to increase tree seed germination and seedling survival, Vodafone Business, Woman of Innovation Award
  • Lisa Woodcock, who has tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness about organ donation after having a life-saving liver transplant, ITV Lorraine Women of the Year Game Changer award

Pictured above are some of the women on Roz’s table at the Lunch:

At the back left to right: Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer, NHS England, Akua Opong, LSEG, Lucy Reeve, Partner, Linklaters LLP, Nasia Pachiti, IG Group General Counsel, Natalia Sowe, Senior Global HR Director, MoodMedia

At the front left to right: Susan Shaw, the first woman to work on the floor of the London Stock Exchange in 1973, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair, Royal College of GPs

You can read more about the Lunch and the awards here