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Celebrating the inspirational individuals in transport and logistics

The winners of the 2021 Amazon everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards have been announced. Now in their 14th year, the awards, which this year were supported by RailBusinessDaily, celebrated 16 outstanding individuals working in the transport and logistics sector, honouring and championing their achievements as well as showcasing them as role models for the next generation of female talent.

This year’s winners encompassed a wide range of career experiences and journeys – from an apprentice who started her role right before the lockdown to senior leaders navigating the challenges of a global pandemic – revealing the breadth of opportunities available for women in an industry too often seen as male-dominated. These individuals not only make positive contributions to the businesses for which they work, but also encourage other women into the industry long-term by supporting and mentoring young talent.

Whether it is empowering their female colleagues, finding ways to retain talent, or implementing new solutions, the winners all represent passionate figures who not only help their businesses succeed, but support others along the way, paying it forward to ensure equal opportunities for their peers and those who follow.

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For the first time this year, the awards introduced the ‘Tech Innovator Award’ sponsored by Hermes to celebrate a woman designing, developing, researching, implementing or being exceptionally creative with technology within the sector. This was awarded to Kate Lovatt, IT Director at EV Cargo who spearheaded her company’s game-changing Technology Trident, which increased freight handled by its smart forklift trucks by 24%. She also devised technology to keep the company moving during lockdown, while minimising face-to-face contact.

A special “Woman of the Year” award was given to Jaya Sajnani, Director and Transport Manager at YG Travel, which offers fast and seamless transport solutions for weddings, corporate events, schools and educational tours. The judges were impressed by her entrepreneurial story, which saw Jaya leave her small town in India to study finance in the UK, before setting up her own business in 2018 with just one minibus. Under her leadership the company has grown rapidly and she now employs 15 drivers. Jaya was also singled out for her dedication to supporting other women via a non-profit platform she created to help women start their own business, encouraging them and equipping them with the skills needed to grow.

The other awards winners were:

The Freight Award

Above and Beyond

· Danielle Owen, Head of Marketing and Communications, EV Cargo, from Burton Upon Trent

Leader

· Shereen Husein, Head of Linehaul, DPD Group (UK), from Oldbury

The Customer / Passenger Award – sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK

Above and Beyond

· Paula Jones, City Centre Supervisor, Brighton & Hove and Metrobus, from Hove

Leader

· Dr Claire Williams, Technical Director – Human Factors and Behaviour Change, Atkins, from London

The Infrastructure Award – sponsored by Mott MacDonald

Above and Beyond

· Charlotte Robinson, Planner, Dyer & Butler, from London

Leader

· Lesley Waud, Design Development Director, Transportation UK & Europe, Atkins, from London

The Supply Chain Award

Above and Beyond

· Kathy Cooke, Head of Operations, Wincanton, from Doncaster

Leader

· Alison Wynne Davies, General Manager, Gist, from Barnsley

The Warehousing Award – sponsored by FedEx

Above and Beyond

· Laura Morrison, General Manager, Wincanton, from Corby

Leader

· Chloe Ball, Warehouse Manager, A.F. Blakemore, from Wolverhampton

The Industry Champion Award – sponsored by Asda

· Caroline Welch, Apprenticeship Manager, Go-Ahead London, from London

Male Agent of Change

· Dominic Mottram, Project Manager & Co-chair, Inspire Network Rail, from Birmingham

The Apprentice of the Year Award – sponsored by Unipart Rail

· Sian Coley, Degree Apprentice, CEVA Logistics, from Ashby de la Zouch

International Inspiration Award

· Smita Sawdadkar, Head of Global Design Training Service, (EDPM) Atkins, from India

*New for 2021* Tech Innovator Award – sponsored by Hermes

· Kate Lovatt, IT Director, EV Cargo, from Derbyshire

Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founder of everywoman, said: “We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Amazon everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards. The events of the past 18 months have heaped unprecedented pressure on our vital transport and logistics sector, but it has risen to the challenge keeping the country, its people, goods and services moving, even as we have undergone seismic change. This is in no small part thanks the skill, leadership, passion and dedication of its female workforce and we feel honoured to recognise them and celebrate their achievements.”

Graham Allison, Amazon Regional Director, said: “I was delighted to be part of the judging panel and hear all the amazing stories from the extraordinary women who over the last year, have worked tirelessly to keep Britain moving at a time when customers have needed this industry more than ever. As a company it is important to us to inspire women to continue to drive innovation and new ways of thinking and to develop fulfilling careers by providing opportunities for all. I would like to congratulate all the worthy winners who truly showcase the exceptional female talent we have in the transport and logistics industry.”

As well as RBD supporting the awards, CEO of Business Daily Group, David McLoughlin, was part of the judging panel to help recognise the industry’s best and brightest.

He said: “It has been a real pleasure to be involved in this year’s event, accumulating in a great virtual awards’ ceremony celebrating so many inspirational individuals.

“I genuinely believe that businesses will go from strength to strength if they actively encourage the kind of equality, diversity and excellence which these awards showcased.”

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