AA Graduates director Debbee Dale and TUI Travel group head of sustainable development Jane Ashton were among the women honoured at the Shine Awards last night.

The annual awards were launched in 2004 and highlight the achievements of outstanding women working in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors.

Speaking at the event in London’s Knightbridge, minister for culture and tourism Margaret Hodge said: “Women do not always reach the same heights as men do in the tourism industry. This is partly due to the choices we make, partly due to lack of confidence and partly because of discrimination.

“Where we succeed in promoting women, it works because of leadership. Legislation is important but so is culture change, and these awards are part of that culture change.”

The award winners were given learning and development opportunities, including courses on leadership, management and digital marketing. As part of a new initiative, the winners will also mentor 10 hospitality and tourism graduates from the London Metropolitan University Business School.

Shine Awards co-founder Gaby Marcon added: “Last night’s winners are nothing short of exceptional. These women have often triumphed against the odds, working tirelessly to achieve their goals, and all along acted as great role models and mentors.”

 

The winners

  • Corporate Category: Teresa Wong, executive assistant manager, Swissotel, The Howard, London
  • Entrepreneur Category: Wendy Bartlett, managing director, Bartlett Mitchell Catering
  • Young entrepreneur: Katie Thompson, owner, Heritage Market
  • Homeworker Microbusiness: Debbee Dale, director, Debbee Dale Development
  • Leader: Alison Cryer, managing director, Representation Plus
  • Special prize for all-round achievement: Rita Beckwith. managing director, City Cruises
  • Outstanding Mentor: Susan Briggs, director, The Tourism Network
  • Public Sector: Eryl Parry, director of enterprise, Liverpool Cathedral
  • Sustainable Tourism: Jane Ashton, group head of sustainable development, TUI Travel
  • Technology Innovator: Diane Webster, head of sales marketing, Beacon Purchasing
  • Young Achiever: Tara Farnham, assistant to chief operating officer, Thistle Hotels

Highly commended

  • Mary Mulvey, chief executive officer, Greenbox
  • Victoria Fellowes, marketing manager, WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre