Leading light in education scoops Business Woman of the Year


A leading light in education has been named Business Woman of the Year at this year’s Enterprising Women awards. Marion Plant, Principal and Chief Executive of a cross-border general FE College North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, was presented with the accolade at a gala dinner last night to celebrate women in business.

In addition to her role with North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Marion is also Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust – which sponsors four secondary schools – and serves on several national and regional bodies.

She a non-executive board member of the Department for Education, a trustee of WorldSkills UK, a board member Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Skills lead for both, a trustee of the National Society Council (Church of England), a board member of Coventry University and member of the Academic Affairs committee and a governor at Stephenson College of Further Education.

The Enterprising Women awards were presented at a gala dinner last night at Winstanley House, Leicester, hosted by freelance presenter Emma Jesson, who was GMTV’s first weathergirl, later working for ITV Central and ITV Granada, and who has also done advertising voice overs, had a part in a British comedy feature film and appeared on Jasper Carrot and Ruby Wax TV shows.

In total, seven awards were presented. The other six winners were:

  • Social Commitment Award: G Wathall  & Son
  • Apprentice of the Year: Amber Nicholson – AESSEAL  (the spelling is correct – please keep block capitals)
  • Female Employee of the Year: Aarti Raj – Pick Everard
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Rosin Johnson – Magenta Iris
  • Team of the Year Award: Glynis Wright & Co Family Solicitors and Mediators
  • Small Business of the Year: Penny Price Aromatherapy

The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 34 finalists.

Co-Chair or Enterprising Women, Eileen Richards, founder of ER Recruitment, Leicester, and a member of the Board of Directors at East Midlands Chamber*, said:

“The standard of entries was, again, very high this year and proves there is a real hunger among women in the business community to be recognised for their achievements.

“These awards – now celebrating 21 years – are one of the best ways to achieve that recognition. In the past we have had some very worthy winners and I’m delighted that Marion is now among them, although every entry deserves to be celebrated.”

Co-Chair Jean Mountain, a Past President at East Midlands Chamber, said:

“By highlighting their contribution and telling their stories, hopefully we can inspire other women to pursue their business dream.”

Sponsors for this year’s Enterprising Women awards are Pick Everard (headline sponsor), B Audio Visual, CBA Business Solutions, Derby College, Leicester Racecourse, Leicester Tigers, Purpose Media, PwC and Smallman & Son, with Mercia Image Print as print sponsor and Koobr as design sponsor.

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