Young Women’s Trust, a charity supporting women aged 16 to 30 on low or no pay, will celebrate young women who have overcome barriers to success at an awards ceremony with Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in London on 21 February.
The awards, sponsored by Clarion Housing Group, WMG and Venn Group, will recognise three young women who have overcome barriers to make substantial progress in their lives. In contrast to traditional awards, Young Women’s Trust will celebrate women starting their careers, rather than those at the top of their professions, to highlight how difficult it can be to get a foot in the door.
Princess Alexandra will meet the winners at a reception to congratulate them on their achievements. Following this, women business leaders Karen Blackett OBE and Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj will present the awards. The evening will be hosted by political commentator and comedian Ayesha Hazarika MBE.
The winners are
Helena Kiely, 28 from Sheffield, is the winner of the Young Women’s Trust ‘Influencer’ award, having used her experience of being out of education to become the joint director of a project that helps young people gain skills.
Abby Lundie, 25 from Rugby, is the winner of the Young Women’s Trust ‘Conqueror’ award, after battling bullying and severe anxiety to achieve her dream role.
Florence Hopper, 22 from Reading, is the winner of the Young Women’s Trust ‘Exceptional Apprentice’ award, after studying for her accountancy exams while caring for her sister and subsequently gaining a permanent job at Prudential UK.
Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: “These young women are outstanding role models for the hundreds of thousands of young women struggling to get a foot on a career ladder.
“Progress is being made to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles, but this is not making a difference to the barriers young, disadvantaged women face getting a job in the first place.
“Young women are facing challenges that often shut them out of the jobs market or mean they are more likely to be on low pay or in insecure jobs. Barriers to work include a lack of accessible childcare, low self-confidence and a lack of flexible job opportunities. Despite this, young women are working hard to find jobs, persevere in male-dominated sectors and juggle caring responsibilities with work and studies. It’s time their challenges and efforts were recognised.”
Young Women’s Trust offers direct services to support young women into work and campaigns for fair financial futures.