Finalists revealed for 2024 Women in Business Awards after record year of entries

90 individuals and organisations feature on short list ahead of gala presentation night on March 7

Women in Business Awards
The judges meet to deliberate on entries for the 2024 Women n Business Awards, under chair Lorraine Acheson, managing director of WiB (seated second right). Included at front are Anne Clydesdale (vice chair of Women in Business Group) and Sinead Carville (FinTrU). At back (from left) are Nial Borthistle (Glandore), Gary McDonald (Irish News) and Keith Lippert (WiB Group board member)

From a record number of entries, some 90 individuals and organisations have been short-listed in the 2024 Women in Business Awards after a marathon judging session to select the winners and finalists.

Now in their 12th year, the awards recognise, reward and celebrate the outstanding achievements of female business leaders from all sectors and industries across Northern Ireland.

The gala awards evening, sponsored again by Virgin Media O2 Business and hosted by Pamela Ballantine, will take place on Thursday March 7 at Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel (more details at

Lorraine Acheson, managing director of Women in Business, said: “This is another successive year of record entries for the Women in Business Awards which speaks to not only the reputation of the ceremony, but also the exceptional high standards of businesswomen across Northern Ireland.

“Following more than 230 submissions across 13 categories, including the all-new Outstanding Apprentice award, the judging panel faced an incredibly difficult task in whittling down this list of 90 finalists, each of whom are deserving of special recognition.

“Across their respective industries, these dedicated women are positively impacting the business world around them to become role models for the future generations. At Women in Business, we’re proud to platform these trailblazers and game-changers for their active contribution and impact on the local economy and wider society.”

The seven-strong judging panel was chaired by Lorraine Acheson and comprised Lisa Kemp (Virgin Media O2 Business), Sinead Carville (FinTrU), Anne Clydesdale (vice chair of Women in Business Group), Keith Lipppett (Women in Business Group board member), Nial Borthistle (Glandore) and Gary McDonald (Irish News business editor).

All the finalists will now join the Women in Business Awards finalist alumnae of nearly 300 women, offering them the opportunity to network and engage with like-minded businesswomen, enhancing both personal and professional development.

Sponsors and partners of the 2024 Women in Business Awards include title sponsor Virgin Media O2 Business and media partner The Irish News, along with category sponsors Allstate, Danske Bank, Belfast Harbour, NIE, Queen’s University Belfast, Go Succeed, Version 1, Wilson Nesbitt, IQ&Co. and TP ICAP.

Women in Business is part of The WiB Group, an umbrella group of social enterprises (including Diversity Mark, Centre of Learning and Timely Careers) that are dedicated to helping create a prosperous and inclusive economy.


Advancing Diversity (corporate)
  • Belfast Harbour
  • First Derivative
  • Labour Relations Agency
  • NIE Networks
  • Wilson Nesbitt
Advancing Diversity (individual)
  • Caroline Rowan (Musgrave NI)
  • Claire Webb (Labour Relations Agency)
  • Emma Patterson-Bennett (BBC NI)
  • Fernanda Soares (Version 1)
  • Sheila Owens (Cubis Systems)
Best Customer Service (corporate)
  • Caroline Rowan (Musgrave NI)
  • Celesta Forte (PwC)
  • Charlotte O’Kane (Spirit Aerosystems
  • Katherin Farries (Victoria)
  • Mary-Jo McGinn (NFU Mutual)
Best Customer Service (small business)
  • Brigid Derry (Derry Bros Shipping)
  • Fiona Norman (FN Research)
  • Glenda Johnston (Kaizen)
  • Louise Crothers (R L Services)
  • Olga Lynch (The Transfer Tutor)
Best Green Business (corporate)
  • Caroline Rowan (Musgrave NI)
  • Faye Thomas (Vyta)
  • Gillian Shields (Coca-Cola HBC)
  • Judy McElroy (NIE Networks)
  • Theresa Clarke (Encirc)
Best Green Business (small business)
  • Danielle McCormick (Triterra)
  • Gillian McKee (Giraffe Associates)
  • Katie Elliott (Without Waste NI)
  • Maebh Reynolds (GoPlugable)
  • Sarah Mackie (Larchfield Estate)
Best in Professional Services (corporate)
  • Jordan Monteith (Mount Charles Group)
  • Lyndsey Hamill (PwC)
  • Maria McNally (Cleaver Fulton Rankin)
  • Maria Page (PwC)
  • Micaela Diver (A&L Goodbody)
Best in Professional Services (small business)
  • Angela Montgomery (Pytilia)
  • Fiona Norman (FN Research)
  • Jumpee McCracken (Just Mortgages)
  • Lizzy Caldwell (North Coast Pilates & Physiotherapy)
  • Mabel Higgins (MH Fire Safety)
Best Marketing Campaign (corporate)
  • Claire Scullion (NIE Networks)
  • Holly Milne (Dale Farm)
  • Joan Belton (Creagh Concrete)
  • Rachel Lively (SciLeads)
  • Sarah Owens (GLL)
Best Marketing Campaign (Small Business)
  • Deborah Loughran (King Communication)
  • Kym Horner (MKB Law)
  • Olga Lynch (The Transfer Tutor)
  • Rose Hurrell (Hugh McManus and Sons)
  • Sara-Louise Strain (Eden @ South Lake)
Best New Start Up
  • Emma O’Donnell (Shipping Containers Ireland)
  • Gemma Overend (The Creative Business Club)
  • Louise Adams (Cultshe)
  • ·Maebh Reynolds (GoPlugable)
  • Melanie Dawson (Origin7 Digital Academy)
Best Small Business
  • Caoimhe Fuller (C No Dirt Cleaning Services)
  • Eimear Gourley (NI Property Girl)
  • Gemma Murphy (Jack Murphy Jewellers)
  • Louise Crothers (R L Services)
  • Mabel Higgins (MF Fire Safety)
Excellence in IT
  • Catherine Deegan (Doc Elite)
  • Lijana Saulytyte (Zesty)
  • Linsay Fenton (Kaizen)
  • Loraa White (Music Video Marketplace)
Outstanding Apprentice
  • Amy Robinson (Mivan)
  • Antonina Krynicka (PwC)
  • Charlie Clarke (Lakeland Diaries)
  • Roise McQuaid (PwC)
  • Tammy Dodds (Arup)
Outstanding Innovation
  • Loraa White (Music Video Marketplace)
  • Brigid Derry (Derry Bros Shipping)
  • Catherine Deegan (Doc Elite)
  • Eileen Russell (WayMaker Child Therapy CIC)
  • Helen Eakin (Mivan)
Outstanding Management/Leadership
  • Angela Montgomery (Pytilia)
  • Laura Haldane (SciLeads)
  • Lorna McAdoo (Version 1)
  • Louise Forbes (Zesty)
  • Mabel Higgins (MH Fire Safety)
  • Valerie McConville (CO3)
Outstanding Mentor
  • Catherine Keenan (Creagh Concrete)
  • Gemma Martin (Encirc)
  • Louise Parkes (Mallusk Enterprise Park)
  • Melanie Thrush (Arup)
  • Sarah McAvera (Golden Thread Gallery)
Young Businesswoman of the Year
  • Ashleigh Averell (ibrand)
  • Ellen Yates (Taylor Yates)
  • Erin Miley (Callow Event Management)
  • Gemma McAllister (WearMatter)
  • Martha Garbe (Basalt Distillery)